Preventing user-fatigue in interactive meta-heuristic search places as great an emphasis on efficiency as it does on ef- fectiveness. Engagement may also be boosted if the system provides a sense of “responsiveness” - for example, avoiding unpopular solutions as well as exploiting preferred ones. In this paper we explore one possible way of achieving these goals using the concept of “anti-pheromones” in different forms of Ant Colony Optimisation. Taking search-based software design and refactoring as a case study, we use exten- sive offline experiments to investigate differences of timescale and method for applying anti-pheromones. Results confirm our predictions that most combinations are in fact counter- productive. However, applying high levels of anti-pheromone, only in the initial stages of a run, can rapidly steer the search away from unproductive regions, reducing the number of evaluations required by up to 20% without compromising solution fitness.
Simons, C., & Smith, J. (2016, July). Exploiting antipheromone in ant colony optimisation for interactive search-based software design and refactoring. Poster presented at ACM-SIGEVO Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, GECCO ’16, Denver, CO, USA