Ph.D. thesis: Ant Colony Optimization and its application to adaptive routing in telecommunication networks


I discussed my Ph.D. dissertion at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium, in 2004. Prof. Marco Dorigo has been my supervisor. The thesis is an outgrowth of my research work from 1998 to 2004 on the foundations of the Ant Colony Oprimization metaheuristic and on its application to routing problems in dynamic telecommunication networks. During those years I had post-doc research positions in several laboratories, namely, IRIDIA, in Brussels (Belgium), ATR (Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute), in Kyoto (Japan), and IDSIA, in Lugano (Switzerland).


The thesis provides original contributions for a number of topics:

  • Formal definition of the Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) metaheuristic

  • Discussion of the biological basis for ACO

  • Discussion of the relationships between ACO and other theoretical frameworks, such as dynamic programming and reinforcement learning

  • Extensive and reasoned overview of the different applications of ACO to a number of different problems for combinatorial optimization and networking

  • Definition of the AntNet algorithm for routing in dynamic networks and of a number of variations of the basic algorithm for different networks

  • Thorough analysis of the properties of AntNet and of its performance in an extensive number of simulation experiments

  • Definition of the Ant Colony Routing (ACR) framework, a general learning-based framework for adaptive routing in networks

  • Initial definition of the AntHocNet algorithm for routing in mobile ad hoc networks (work in collaboration with Frederick Ducatelle)

  • A number of ideas for further developments for ACO and ACO-based routing

  • Clik on the following links to download the abstract of the thesis, and the full thesis.


    Enjoy the reading and please feel free to ask me any relevant question concerning the topics of the thesis!