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Although an ant is a simple creature, collectively a colony of ants performs useful tasks such as finding the shortest path to a food source and sharing this information with other ants by depositing pheromone. In the field of ant colony optimization (ACO), models of collective intelligence of ants are transformed into useful optimization techniques that find applications in computer networking. In this survey, the problem-solving paradigm of ACO is explicated and compared to traditional routing algorithms along the issues of routing information, routing overhead and adaptivity. The contributions of this survey include 1) providing a comparison and critique of the state-of-the-art approaches for mitigating stagnation (a major problem in many ACO algorithms), 2) surveying and comparing three major research in applying ACO in routing and load-balancing, and 3) discussing new directions and identifying open problems. The approaches for mitigating stagnation discussed include: evaporation, aging, pheromone smoothing and limiting, privileged pheromone laying and pheromone-heuristic control. The survey on ACO in routing/load-balancing includes comparison and critique of ant-based control and its ramifications, AntNet and its extensions, as well as ASGA and SynthECA. Discussions on new directions include an ongoing work of the authors in applying multiple ant colony optimization in load-balancing.
Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:33 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2003