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# Seminar On

## Ant Colony Optimization

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Prepared By:
Shikhar Gupta
M.Tech.
1202910511
Swarm Intelligence
Swarm intelligence (SI) is artificial
intelligence based on the collective
behaviour of decentralized, self-organized
systems
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Characteristics of
Swarms
Composed of many individuals
Individuals are homogeneous
Local interaction based on simple rules
Self-organization
Constituting a natural model particularly
suited to distributed problem solving

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Ant Colony Optimization
Optimization Technique Proposed by
Marco Dorigo in the early 90
Heuristic optimization method inspired by
biological systems
Multi-agent approach for solving difficult
combinatorial optimization problems
Has become new and fruitful research area
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Natural behavior of ant

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How can they manage such great
tasks ?

Ants are ,
essentially blind, deaf and dumb.
social creatures behavior directed to survival
of colony

Question: how can ants find the short path to
food sources?

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Shortest Path
Ants deposit pheromones on ground that
form a trail. The trail attracts other ants.
Pheromones evaporate faster on longer paths.
Shorter paths serve as the way to food for
most of the other ants.
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Applications
Traveling Salesman Problem

Quadratic Assignment Problem

Network Model Problem

Vehicle routing

Graph coloring
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ACO system -PSEUDOCODE
Often applied to TSP (Travelling Salesman Problem): shortest
path between n nodes

Algorithm in Pseudocode:
Initialize Trail
Do While (Stopping Criteria Not Satisfied) Cycle Loop
Do Until (Each Ant Completes a Tour) Tour Loop
Local Trail Update
End Do
Analyze Tours
Global Trail Update
End Do

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Algorithm
Ant Colony Algorithms are typically use to solve minimum
cost problems.
We may usually have N nodes and A undirected arcs
There are two working modes for the ants: either forwards or
backwards
The ants memory allows them to retrace the path it has
followed while searching for the destination node
Before moving backward on their memorized path, they
eliminate any loops from it. While moving backwards, the ants
leave pheromones on the arcs they traversed.

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Algorithm
At the beginning of the search process, a constant amount of
pheromone is assigned to all arcs. When located at a node i an
ant k uses the pheromone trail to compute the probability of
choosing j as the next node:

where is the neighborhood of ant k when in node i.
0
k
i
ij k
i
k
il
ij l N
k
i
if j N
p
if j N
o
o
t
t
e

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k
i
N
Algorithm
When the arc (i,j) is traversed , the pheromone value changes
as follows:

By using this rule, the probability increases that forthcoming
ants will use this arc.
After each ant k has moved to the next node, the pheromones
evaporate by the following equation to all the arcs:
k
ij ij
t t t +A
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(1 ) , ( , )
ij ij
p i j A t t e
Steps for Solving a Problem by
ACO

1. Represent the problem in the form of sets of components
and transitions, or by a set of weighted graphs, on which
ants can build solutions
2. Define the meaning of the pheromone trails
3. Define the heuristic preference for the ant while constructing
a solution
4. If possible implement a efficient local search algorithm for
the problem to be solved.
5. Choose a specific ACO algorithm and apply to problem
being solved
6. Tune the parameter of the ACO algorithm.

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TSP example
A
D
C B
1
[]
4
[]
3
[]
2
[]
d
AB
=8;d
BC
= 4;d
CD
=15;d
DA
=6
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Iteration 1
A
D
C
B
1
[A]
3
[C]
2
[B]
4
[D]
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How to build next sub-solution?
1
[A]
A
D
C B
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Iteration 2
A
D
C
B
2
[B,C]
3
[C,D]
1
[A,B]
4
[D,A]
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Iteration 3
A
D
C
B
2
[B,C,D]
3
[B,C,A]
4
[D,A,B]
1
[A,B,C]
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Iteration 4
A
D
C
B
1
[A,B,C,D]
2
[B,C,D,A]
3
[C,D,A,B]
4
[D,A,B,C]
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Path and Pheromone Evaluation
1
[A,B,C,D
L
1
=27
L
2
=25
L
3
=29
L
4
=18
2
[B,C,D,A]
3
[C,D,A,B]
4
[D,A,B,C]
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Best tour
End of First Run
All ants die
New ants are born
Save Best Tour (Sequence and length)
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Advantages and Disadvantages
For TSPs (Traveling Salesman Problem), relatively efficient
for a small number of nodes, TSPs can be solved by
exhaustive search
for a large number of nodes, TSPs are very computationally
difficult to solve exponential time to convergence
Performs better against other global optimization techniques
such as neural net, genetic algorithms, simulated annealing
Can be used in dynamic applications (adapts to changes such
as new distances, etc.)
Convergence is guaranteed, but time to convergence uncertain

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Conclusion

Ant Colony Optimization is an efficient
approach of finding shortest path problems.

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References

Marco Dorigo, Mauro Birattari, Ant Colony
Optimization, IEEE, 2006.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swarm_intelligen
ce
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant_colony_opti
mization

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