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Ant Colony Optimization (Bradford Books) [Hardcover]

Marco Dorigo , Thomas Stützle
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 4, 2004 0262042193 978-0262042192 First Edition, First Printing

The complex social behaviors of ants have been much studied by science, and computer scientists are now finding that these behavior patterns can provide models for solving difficult combinatorial optimization problems. The attempt to develop algorithms inspired by one aspect of ant behavior, the ability to find what computer scientists would call shortest paths, has become the field of ant colony optimization (ACO), the most successful and widely recognized algorithmic technique based on ant behavior. This book presents an overview of this rapidly growing field, from its theoretical inception to practical applications, including descriptions of many available ACO algorithms and their uses.The book first describes the translation of observed ant behavior into working optimization algorithms. The ant colony metaheuristic is then introduced and viewed in the general context of combinatorial optimization. This is followed by a detailed description and guide to all major ACO algorithms and a report on current theoretical findings. The book surveys ACO applications now in use, including routing, assignment, scheduling, subset, machine learning, and bioinformatics problems. AntNet, an ACO algorithm designed for the network routing problem, is described in detail. The authors conclude by summarizing the progress in the field and outlining future research directions. Each chapter ends with bibliographic material, bullet points setting out important ideas covered in the chapter, and exercises. Ant Colony Optimization will be of interest to academic and industry researchers, graduate students, and practitioners who wish to learn how to implement ACO algorithms.

Frequently Bought Together

Ant Colony Optimization (Bradford Books) + Swarm Intelligence (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Evolutionary Computation) + Swarm Intelligence: From Natural to Artificial Systems (Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity)
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Editorial Reviews


"Inspired by the remarkable ability of social insects to solve problems, Dorigo and Stützle introduce highly creative new technological design principles for seeking optimized solutions to extremely difficult real-world problems, such as network routing and task scheduling. This is essential reading not only for those working in artificial intelligence and optimization, but for all of us who find the interface between biology and technology fascinating."--Iain D. Couzin, University of Oxford

About the Author

Marco Dorigo is a research director of the FNRS, the Belgian National Funds for Scientific Research, and co-director of IRIDIA, the artificial intelligence laboratory of the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He is the inventor of the ant colony optimization metaheuristic. His current research interests include swarm intelligence, swarm robotics, and metaheuristics for discrete optimization. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Swarm Intelligence, and an Associate Editor or member of the Editorial Boards of many journals on computational intelligence and adaptive systems. Dr. Dorigo is a Fellow of the ECCAI and of the IEEE. He was awarded the Italian Prize for Artificial Intelligence in 1996, the Marie Curie Excellence Award in 2003, the Dr. A. De Leeuw-Damry-Bourlart award in applied sciences in 2005, the Cajastur "Mamdani" International Prize for Soft Computing in 2007, and an ERC Advanced Grant in 2010.

Thomas Stützle is Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at Darmstadt University of Technology.

Product Details

  • Series: Bradford Books
  • Hardcover: 319 pages
  • Publisher: A Bradford Book; First Edition, First Printing edition (June 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262042193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262042192
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,211,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The intelligence and wisdom of ants April 27, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Being an ant isn't very complex, but it's a daily fight for life. The losers in that fight don't count, but the winners get to vote.

That is the basis of ant colony optimization. There are many parts to the idea, all of them very simple. First, there are many routes to the goal (food, if you're an ant) - some are better, some worse, you don't know which are which in advance, and the answer may change over time. Second, it's a random search. If you find any answer at all, no matter how convoluted, you get to vote on your route. Third, there are many other ants, all voting. Any leg of a trip that is heavily followed must be part of a good route, and gets many votes. There are details, but that's about it.

Chapters 1-3 are the most readable, and convey the basic spirit of the family of algorithms. Ch. 4-6 will drag a bit, for the general reader, but go into significant detail about the ant algorithm and specific applications.

Ch. 7 ends the book with a warm, informal discussion of the algorithm's history and some delightful variations. Dorigo, the principal author and founder of the ant school, uses this chapter to express his pure joy at having found such a wonderful thing, and at the similar approaches that others have also found.

The approach has some real limits. For example, it can solve only problems that look like finding the shortest route. The good news is that a wide range of unlikely problems can all be cast in these terms. The better news is that, given the many variations available, some form of the 'stigmergic' approach will probably solve any problem in that range. Best of all, though, is the sheer cleverness and the sincere appreciation expressed by the authors.

Nature is economical, but a brilliant problem solver. This is written by someone who as able to listen in on one of the lessons.

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive and very readable introduction October 4, 2004
Fifteen years after the elegant double-bridge experiments by Deneubourg et al. that formed the basis of the Ant Colony Optimization algorithm, Marco Dorigo, the inventor of ACO, and Thomas Stützle, an expert on stochastic local search methods, have pooled their knowledge to summarize the current state of the art.

This book gives a well paced introduction to ACO, describes its use in various optimization problems and gives interesting examples of its applications in industry. Explanations are clear and concise and, with the exception of a few well defined technical terms, free of scientific jargon. It is a pleasure to read for everyone with an interest in optimization theory. However, if you are looking for a book that celebrates the beauty of nature's problem solving capabilities, you are better of with "Swarm Intelligence" or Flake's "Computational Beauty of Nature". The initial idea of ACO may be bio-inspired, but this book has a crystal clear focus of the computational considerations in optimization theory.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine compilation September 3, 2004
This book is a fine compilation of what have been done with the Ant Colony paradigm so far. Highly readable, even for people without previous experience in the field of optimization.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect book September 2, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Its a perfect exposition by the Originator himself on how events in nature helped in the crafting of one of the most powerful algorithms in vogue today...
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