Second Order Swarm Intelligence

my latest work entitled Second Order Swarm Intelligence with Vitorino Ramos and Jorge Louçã will be presented at the HAIS’2013 Conference in Salamanca, latter this year. It is an exploration of Ant Colony Systems by introducing a second order feedback mechanism. This is done with a negative pheromone that acts as a `non-entry’ signal.


An artificial Ant Colony System (ACS) algorithm to solve general-purpose combinatorial Optimization Problems (COP) that extends previous AC models [21] by the inclusion of a negative pheromone, is here described. Several Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP) were used as benchmark. We show that by using two different sets of pheromones, a second-order co-evolved compromise between positive and negative feedbacks achieves better results than single positive feedback systems. The algorithm was tested against known NP-complete combinatorial Optimization Problems, running on symmetrical TSP’s. We show that the new algorithm compares favourably against these benchmarks, accordingly to recent biological findings by Robinson [26,27], and Gruter [28] where “No entry” signals and negative feedback allows a colony to quickly reallocate the majority of its foragers to superior food patches. This is the first time an extended ACS algorithm is implemented with these successful characteristics.

PDF available from arXiv