Better Trained Ants
W. B. Langdon
School of Computer Science,
The University of Birmingham,
Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 4791,
Fax: +44 (0) 121 414 4281
Technical Report: CSRP-98-08
28 February 1998
The problem of programming an artificial ant to follow the Santa Fe trail
has been repeatedly used as a benchmark problem.
Recently we have shown performance of several techniques is not much
better than the best performance obtainable using uniform random
We suggested that this could be because the program fitness
landscape is difficult for hill climbers
and the problem is also difficult for Genetic Algorithms as it
contains multiple levels of deception.
Here we redefine the problem so the ant is obliged to traverse the
trail in approximately the correct order.
A simple genetic programming system, with no size or depth
restriction, is show to perform approximately three times better with
the improved training function.
William B Langdon
Wed Mar 4 13:21:44 GMT 1998