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Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering University of Melbourne

MB3 - Ant Colony Optimisation in Network Problem

Students: Darryl Foo, Johnatan Feuillye and Jun-Huang Chen
Supervisor: Dr Marcus Brazil (Senior Lecturer, Telecommunications)

Researchers have found that control algorithms based on the socio-

biological foraging, pheromone-driven behaviour of ants can help
solve difficult mathematical, combinatorial problems, such as finding
the shortest path within a given network. This method is called Ant
Colony Metaheuristics. Ant Colony Metaheuristics has potentials in a
wide range of applications. Varying but promising levels of success
have been shown in applications ranging from the traveling salesman
problem, the quadratic assignment problem , the vehicle routing
problem, scheduling problems, telecommunications networks, and
much more. Its success in static combinatorial problems suggests
that it can potentially be very useful in dynamic networks such as
telecommunication networks. Further research and exploration in this
area can help optimize existing telecommunication networks.

This project’s objective is to focus on the applications of Ant Colony Metaheuristics in telecommunication
networks, and in particular, the internet, by analysing, developing and improving on existing Ant Colony
algorithms for telecommunication applications. The group aims to use Ant Colony Metaheuristics to optimize
the routing of data in these networks.

Using the MATLAB programming language, the group will simulate the internet and implement the “Ant Net”
algorithm developed by Marco Dorigo and Gianni Di Caro as a starting point. The “Ant Net” algorithm showed
very promising improvement in performance against existing state of the art telecommunication routing
algorithms. The group aim to further this research and construct more detailed simulation of the internet and
derive optimal algorithmic variants for the internet. In this way a packet-switched data-network such as the
internet can be specifically optimized and the question of which algorithmic modifications are best suited for
such networks can be explored.

Performance of the internet in data transfer can be significantly improved, both through an increase in the
transfer rate and an increase in the probability of successful data transfer. Research carried out in this area is
of potential commercial interest to organisations using similar data networks.