ANT Algorithms in a Graph Environment: A Meta-Scheme for Coordination and Control

E. Steegmans, T. Holvoet, N. Janssens, S. Michiels, Y. Berbers, P. Verbaeten, P. Valckenaers, and H. Van Brussel (Belgium)


Ant Algorithms, MultiAgent Systems, Active Networks, Manufacturing Control, Software Engineering


Ant algorithms already demonstrated their usefulness [2-7, 14] in today's multi-agent systems. This paper introduces a meta-scheme describing a high-level behavior for ant agents in a graph environment. Application of this meta-scheme makes the ant agents repeatedly visit the nodes in the graph that constitutes their environment. The main focus of the meta-scheme is on its reusability. The meta-scheme is used/extended by filling in the elements that decide about routing and cloning, as well as the retrieval and writing of information on information spaces attached to the nodes of environment. Two sample applications of the meta scheme are described, called the "Flooding Walk Role" and "Emitting Walk Role" respectively. The research team applied these two applications of the meta-scheme to a case for communication networks and a case for manufacturing control. Finally, a conclusion is made on the utilization and the reusability of the proposed meta scheme.

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