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Location management is a very important and complex problem in today's mobile computing environments. There is a need to develop algorithms that could capture this complexity yet can be easily implemented and used to solve a wide range of location management scenarios. Artificial life techniques have been used to solve a wide range of complex problems in recent times. The power of these techniques stems from their capability in searching large search spaces, which arise in many combinatorial optimization problems, very efficiently. This paper compares several well-known artificial life techniques to gauge their suitability for solving location management problems. Due to their popularity and robustness, a genetic algorithm (GA), tabu search (TS), and ant colony algorithm (ACA) are used to solve the reporting cells planning problem. In the reporting cell location management scheme, some cells in the network are designated as reporting cells; mobile terminals update their positions (location update) upon entering one of these reporting cells. To create such a planner, a GA, TS, as well as several different AC algorithms are implemented. The effectiveness of each algorithm is shown for a number of test problems.