Adapting Swarm Intelligence For The Self-Assembly And Optimization Of Networks
Martin, Charles E
Reggia, James A
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While self-assembly is a fairly active area of research in swarm intelligence and robotics, relatively little attention has been paid to the issues surrounding the construction of network structures. Here, methods developed previously for modeling and controlling the collective movements of groups of agents are extended to serve as the basis for self-assembly or "growth" of networks, using neural networks as a concrete application to evaluate this novel approach. One of the central innovations incorporated into the model presented here is having network connections arise as persistent "trails" left behind moving agents, trails that are reminiscent of pheromone deposits made by agents in ant colony optimization models. The resulting network connections are thus essentially a record of agent movements. The model's effectiveness is demonstrated by using it to produce two large networks that support subsequent learning of topographic and feature maps. Improvements produced by the incorporation of collective movements are also examined through computational experiments. These results indicate that methods for directing collective movements can be extended to support and facilitate network self-assembly. Additionally, the traditional self-assembly problem is extended to include the generation of network structures based on optimality criteria, rather than on target structures that are specified <italic>a priori</italic>. It is demonstrated that endowing the network components involved in the self-assembly process with the ability to engage in collective movements can be an effective means of generating computationally optimal network structures. This is confirmed on a number of challenging test problems from the domains of trajectory generation, time-series forecasting, and control. Further, this extension of the model is used to illuminate an important relationship between particle swarm optimization, which usually occurs in high dimensional abstract spaces, and self-assembly, which is normally grounded in real and simulated 2D and 3D physical spaces.