Particle Swarm Optimization in PPSN 2012

«Controlling the Parameters of the Particle Swarm Optimization with a Self-Organized Criticality Model» (Fernandes, Merelo, Rosa) is the title of the paper we have presented last week in PPSN. The key idea of the project is to use a Self-Organized Criticallity system called the Bak-Sneppen model of co-evolutionary speciesfor controlling the parameters (inertia weight and acceleration coefficients) of the PSO, as well a pertubation factor of the particles’ positions. In this stage of the research, the model is used as a black-box that, in each iteration, feeds each particle with specific parameter values related to the model’s dynamics. The evolution of the species seemed to fit the control requirements of the PSO parameters, and, in fact, the proposed scheme attained very interesting results when compared to other control strategies. Furthermore, neither the model nor the PSO require fine-tuning: the swarm is totally controlled by the Bak-Sneppen model. The paper can be found here. The abstract:

This paper investigates a Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) with a Self-Organized Criticality (SOC) strategy that controls the parameter values and perturbs the position of the particles. The algorithm uses a SOC system known as Bak-Sneppen for establishing the inertia weight and acceleration coefficients for each particle in each time-step. Besides adjusting the parameters, the SOC model may be also used to perturb the particles’ positions, thus increasing exploration and preventing premature convergence. The implementation of both schemes is straightforward and does not require hand-tuning. An empirical study compares the Bak-Sneppen PSO (BS-PSO) with other PSOs, including a state-of-the-art algorithm with dynamic variation of the weight and perturbation of the particles. The results demonstrate the validity of the algorithm.

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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: email:

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