Anti-pheromone as a tool for better exploration of search space

James Montgomery, Marcus Randall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)
233 Downloads (Pure)


Many animals use chemical substances known as pheromones to induce behavioural changes in other members of the same species. The use of pheromones by ants in particular has lead to the development of a number of computational analogues of ant colony behaviour including Ant Colony Optimisation. Although many animals use a range of pheromones in their communication, ant algorithms have typically focused on the use of just one, a substance that encourages succeeding generations of (artificial) ants to follow the same path as previous generations. Ant algorithms for multi-objective optimisation and those employing multiple colonies have made use of more than one pheromone, but the interactions between these different pheromones are largely simple extensions of single criterion, single colony ant algorithms. This paper investigates an alternative form of interaction between normal pheromone and anti-pheromone. Three variations of Ant Colony System that apply the anti-pheromone concept in different ways are described and tested against benchmark travelling salesman problems. The results indicate that the use of anti-pheromone can lead to improved performance. However, if anti-pheromone is allowed too great an influence on ants’ decisions, poorer performance may result.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnt Algorithms - 3rd International Workshop, ANTS 2002, Proceedings
EditorsMarco Dorigo , Gianni di Caro, Michael Sampels
PublisherSpringer-Verlag London Ltd.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783540457244
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002
Event3rd International Workshop on Ant Algorithms, ANTS 2002 - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 12 Sept 200214 Sept 2002

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference3rd International Workshop on Ant Algorithms, ANTS 2002


Dive into the research topics of 'Anti-pheromone as a tool for better exploration of search space'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this