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"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest" (Proverbs vi 6-8)

Overview

Swarm Intelligence

Ant Colony Algorithm Solving a Traveling Salesperson

Swarm Intelligence

Swarm Intelligence (SI) is the property of a

system whereby the collective behaviors of (unsophisticated) agents interacting locally with their environment cause coherent functional global patterns to emerge. SI provides a basis with which it is possible to explore collective (or distributed) problem solving without centralized control or the provision of a global model. Leverage the power of complex adaptive systems to solve difficult non-linear stochastic problems

Swarm Intelligence

Characteristics of a swarm:

Distributed,

source; Limited communication No (explicit) model of the environment; Perception of environment (sensing) Ability to react to environment changes.

Swarm Intelligence

Social interactions (locally shared

knowledge) provides the basis for unguided problem solving The efficiency of the effort is related to but not dependent upon the degree or connectedness of the network and the number of interacting agents

Swarm Intelligence

Robust exemplars of problem-solving in

Nature

Survival

in stochastic hostile environment Social interaction creates complex behaviors Behaviors modified by dynamic environment.

Emergent behavior observed in: Bacteria, immune system, ants, birds And other social animals

Franks observed Lasius Niger ants,

regulation of 1 degree Celsius range; forming bridges; raiding specific areas for food; building and protecting nest; sorting brood and food items; cooperating in carrying large items; emigration of a colony; finding shortest route from nest to food source; preferentially exploiting the richest food source available.

First proposed by M. Dorigo, 1992

Heuristic optimization method inspired by

biological systems Multi-agent approach for solving difficult combinatorial optimization problems

Traveling Salesman, vehicle routing, sequential ordering, graph coloring, routing in communications networks

Algorithm was inspired by observation

of real ant colonies. Ants are essentially blind, deaf and dumb. Ants are social creatures behavior directed to survival of colony Q: how can ants find the short path to food sources? Ants deposit pheromones on ground that form a trail. The trail attracts other ants.

Ant behavior is a kind of stochastic

distributed optimization behavior. Although one ant is capable of building a solution, it is the behavior of an ensemble of ants that exhibits the shortest path behavior. The behavior is induced by indirect communication (pheromone paths) without central control.

Ants do not know the global structure of

the problem - discover the network Limited ability to sense local environment - can only see adjacent nodes of immediate neighborhood. Each ant chooses an action based on variable probability

random

Each ant collects information about

local environment; acts concurrently and independently No direct communication: stigmergy paradigm governs information exchange Incremental constructive approach to building solutions High quality solutions emerge via global cooperation.

Stigmergy

Indirect communication via interaction

Sematonic

stigmergy

action of agent directly related to problem solving and affects behavior of other agents.

Sign-based

stigmergy

action of agent affects environment not directly related to problem solving activity.

Pheromone Trails

Species lay pheromone trails traveling from

nest, to nest or possibly in both directions. Pheromones evaporate. Pheromones accumulate with multiple ants using path.

Nest Food source

E T= 0 30 ants E T= 1

30 ants

15 ants H

D 15 ants C H

10 ants

D 20 ants C

d=0.5

15 ants

15 ants

10 ants

20 ants

30 A ants

30 A ants

Pheromone mediated following

behavior induces the emergence of shortest paths. Probability of choosing a branch of a path at a certain time depends on the total amount of pheromone on the branch. The choice is proportional to the number of ants that have used the branches.

Let um and lm be the number of ants that

have used the upper and lower branches. The probability Pu(m) with which the (m+1)th ant chooses the upper branch is:

(u m k ) P ( m) (u m k ) (l m k )

h u h

Famous NP-Hard Optimization Problem

Given a fully connected, symmetric

G(V,E) with known edge costs, find the minimum cost tour. Artificial ants move from vertex to vertex to order to find the minimum cost tour using only pheromone mediated trails.

The three main ideas that this ant

The

ants have a probabilistic preference for paths with high pheromone value Shorter paths tend to have a higher rate of growth in pheromone value It uses an indirect communication system through pheromone in edges

Ants select the next vertex based on a

The number of edges and the associated cost The trail (pheromone) left behind by other ant agents.

different ways :

Local trail updating: As the ant moves between cities it updates the amount of pheromone on the edge Global trail updating: When all ants have completed a tour the ant that found the shortest route updates the edges in its path

Local Updating is used to avoid very

strong pheromone edges and hence increase exploration (and hopefully avoid locally optimal solutions). The Global Updating function gives the shortest path higher reinforcement by increasing the amount of pheromone on the edges of the shortest path.

Empirical Results

Compared Ant Colony Algorithm to

standard algorithms and meta-heuristic algorithms on Oliver 30 a 30 city TSP Standard: 2-Opt, Lin-Kernighan, Meta-Heuristics: Tabu Search and Simulated Annealing Conducted 10 replications of each algorithm and provided averaged results

Examined Solution

Quality not speed; in general, standard algorithms were significantly faster. Best ACO solution 420

2-Opt L-K

Near Neighbor Far Insert Near Insert Space Fill Sweep Random 437 421 492 431 426 663 421 420 420 421 421 421

Meta-Heuristics are algorithms that can be

applied to a variety of problems with a minimum of customization. Comparing ACO to other Meta-heuristics provides a fair market comparison (vice TSP specific algorithms).

Best ACO Tabu SA 420 420 422 Mean 420.4 420.6 459.8 Std Dev 1.3 1.5 25.1

Scheduling : Scheduling is a

widespread problem of practical importance. Paul Forsyth & Anthony Wren, University of Leeds Computer Science department developed a bus driver scheduling application using ant colony concepts.

Telecommunication Networks : Network

routing refers to the activity of creating, maintaining and using routing tables (one for each node in the network) to determine where to direct an incoming data stream so that it can continue its travel through the network. In telecommunications, this is an extremely difficult problem because of the constant changes in network traffic load. The Ant Colony algorithm provides adaptive advantages that can adjust to traffic load.

Vehicle Routing Problem: The VRP is

similar to the TSP, but is complicated by multiple vehicles, vehicle capacity, pickup and drop off points (which can dictate vehicle packing and scheduling). Bernd Mullenheimer, Richard Hartl and Christine Strauss developed an Ant Colony algorithm for solving the VRP

Ant Colony Algorithms mimic Real Ants

Colony

of cooperating individuals Simulated Pheromone Trail and Stigmergy Shortest path searching with local moves Stochastic and myopic state transition policy

Artificial ants:

Discrete

state transitions Pheromones based on solution quality Pheromone laying is problem dependent

Interesting Reading

Alexandrov D., Kochetov Y. Behavior of the Ant Colony

Algorithm for the Set Covering Problem, Proc. of Symposium. on Operations. Research., Springer Verlag, 2000 On the MAX/MIN Ant system, Thomas Sttzle, 2001. Hybrid Ant System for the Sequential Ordering Problems, Luca Gambardella, 2002. Parallelization Strategies for Ant Colony Optimization by Thomas Sttzle. In Proceedings of PPSN-V, Amsterdam, Springer Verlag, LNCS 1998 Improvements on the Ant System: Introducing the MAX-MIN Ant System by Thomas Sttzle. Proceedings of Artificial Neural Nets and Genetic Algorithms 1997 The Ant System Applied to the Quadratic Assignment Problem by Maniezzo, Colorni and Dorigo. Tech. Rep. IRIDIA/94-28, Universit Libre de Bruxelles 1994

Interesting Reading

Dorigo, M., Maniezzo, V., Colorni, A., The Ant

System: Optimization by a Colony of Cooperating Agents, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics-Part B, v26,n1, 1996 Rafael S. Parpinelli and Heitor S. Lopes and Alex A. Freitas, An Ant Colony Based System for Data Mining: Applications to Medical Data, Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference ({GECCO}-2001) Nicolas Monmarch, Mohamed Slimane, Gilles Venturini, AntClass: discovery of clusters in numeric data by an hybridization of an ant colony with the kmeans algorithm, 1999

On-Line Resources

http://www.swarm.org/

http://www.swarm-bots.org/ http://dsp.jpl.nasa.gov/members/payman/swarm/ http://www.engr.iupui.edu/~shi/pso.html

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~mdorigo/ACO/ACO.html

http://www.cs.technion.ac.il/~wagner/ http://ants.gsfc.nasa.gov/

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