Last week I was at EuroGP where I presented my latest paper “Automatic Design of Ant Algorithms with Grammatical Evolution” (pdf, slides) and it won the Best Paper Award! I am very happy with this distinction since EuroGP is the leading conference on Genetic Programming attended by the best researchers in the field.
In this paper, a Grammatical Evolution approach is used for the automatic design of Ant Colony Optimization algorithms. The used grammar has the ability to guide the learning of novel architectures, by rearranging components regularly found on manually designed variants (for example, the Elitist Ant-System, the Ant Colony System or the Max-Min Ant System). This approach was tested with the TSP and the results show that the evolved algorithmic strategies are effective, exhibit a good generalization capability and are competitive with human designed variants. This is still a starting point and there is a large amount of work to be done but the indications given by these results are encouraging!
This year the conference took place in Málaga, Spain, as part of Evo* as usual. The event was great with an excellent organization lead by Carlos Cotta. It was a fantastic Evo*! Next year it will be held in Wien!