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We consider the problem of minimum cost sequential testing of a series (parallel) system under precedence constraints that can be modeled as a nonlinear integer program. We develop and implement an ant colony algorithm for the problem. We demonstrate the performance of this algorithm for special type of instances for which the optimal solutions can be found in polynomial time. In addition, we compare the performance of the algorithm with a special branch and bound algorithm for general instances. The ant colony algorithm is shown to be particularly effective for larger instances of the problem.