Ants and Estimation of Distribution Algorithms (ECAL 2009)

Last week I went to Budapest to present the paper “An Ant-Based Rule for UMDA’s Update Strategy” in the 10th European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL 2009). ECAL is one of the leading congresses in the area and some of the most relevant work in the Artificial Life research field is presented there in first hand. It is held every two years and this time the capital of Hungary was chosen to host the event. The Academy of Sciences, in Roosevelt tér (square), on the banks of the Danube and with a perfect view on the Castle and the hills of Buda was ECAL’s headquarters for 4 days.

Only 30% of the accepted papers were selected for oral presentation. The remaining was scheduled for poster sessions (although all the accepted papers were published in full-length in two LNCS volumes) that lasted…the whole day! I cannot understand why not all the congresses follow a line similar to PPSN (a poster-only congress, with 90 minutes sessions) when it comes to poster sessions, but ECAL’s strategy is, my opinion, particularly ineffective and exhausting.

talksroom
ECAL 2009, Budapest, Academy of Sciences

As for our paper, it presents a study on an alternative update strategy for the Univariate Marginal Distribution Algorithm based on the ACO computational paradigm and first presented here. The aim is to control the balance between exploration and exploitation in order to avoid diversity loss, reduce the optimal population size and improve the scalability of the algorithm on hard problems. The results confirmed the hypothesis. This is the abstract:

This paper investigates an update strategy for the Univariate Marginal Distribution Algorithm (UMDA) probabilistic model inspired by the equations of the Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) computational paradigm. By adapting ACO’s transition probability equations to the univariate probabilistic model, it is possible to control the balance between exploration and exploitation by tuning a single parameter. It is expected that a proper balance can improve the scalability of the algorithm on hard problems with bounded difficulties and experiments conducted on such problems with increasing difficulty and size confirmed these assumptions. These are important results because the performance is improved without increasing the complexity of the model, which is known to have a considerable computational effort.

This entry was posted in Algorithms, conference, Presentations by cfernandes81. Bookmark the permalink.

About cfernandes81

Carlos M. Fernandes was born in Luanda in 1973 and lives in between Lisbon, Portugal, and Granada, Spain. He graduated (Technical University of Lisbon, 1998) in Electrotechnics Engineering and owns a master degree in the same field since 2002 (Technical University of Lisbon). He is currently pursuing a Ph.d. on Bio-inspired Computing. From 2001 to 2005 he was an assistant at Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal. (He is also a photographer and photography teacher.) Bio-inspired Computing is his major field of research: Genetic Algorithms, Estimation of Distribution Algorithms, Ant Colony Optimization, Particle Swarm Optimization and other metaheuristics. He is particularly interested in the hybridization of Bio-inspired Computing techniques with Self-Organization, Self-Organized Criticality Models and diversity maintenance strategies. In the present, Dynamic Optimization Problems are his mains target for applying such techniques. website: www.carlosmfernandes.com email: c.m.fernandes.photo@gmail.com

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