View on GitHub

EC-Bestiary

A bestiary of evolutionary, swarm and other metaphor-based algorithms

Evolutionary Computation Bestiary

Updated May 3rd, 2017
**

“Till now, madness has been thought a small island in an ocean of sanity. I am beginning to suspect that it is not an island at all but a continent.” – Machado de Assis, The Psychiatrist.


Introduction

The field of meta-heuristic search algorithms has a long history of finding inspiration in natural systems. Starting from classics such as Genetic Algorithms and Ant Colony Optimization, the last two decades have witnessed a fireworks-style explosion (pun intended) of natural (and sometimes supernatural) heuristics - from Birds and Bees to Zombies and Reincarnation.

The goal of the Evolutionary Computation Bestiary is to catalog the, ermm… exuberance of the meta-heuristic “eco-system”. We try to keep a list of the many different animals, plants, microbes, natural phenomena and supernatural activities that can be spotted in the wild lands of the metaphor-based computation literature.

While we personally believe that the literature could do with more mathematics and less marsupials, and that we, as a community, should grow past this metaphor-rich phase in our field’s history (a bit like chemistry outgrew alchemy), please note that this list makes no claims about the scientific quality of the papers listed. The EC Bestiary puts classic works of the metaheuristics literature (e.g., GAs, ACO) and some that describe their methods in mostly metaphor-free language (e.g., JTF, CFO) side by side with others for which the scientific rigor is, to put it mildly, lacking. In short, it is not a Hall of Fame of algorithms - think of it more as The island of Doctor Moreau: a place with a few good creatures, but which are vastly outnumbered by mindless beasts.

Finally, if you know a metaphor-based method that is not listed here, or if you know of an earlier mention of a listed method, please see the bottom of the page on how to contribute!


The Bestiary

BioHeuristics GO

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z


Maintainers

(“the Zoo Keepers”)

Contributors

(at least one contribution to the bestiary, in alphabetical order)


How to Contribute

If you know a paper that should belong to this list, please send an e-mail to either Claus or Felipe, or report an issue on our Github repo. The criteria for inclusion are quite simple:

  1. the work must be in a peer reviewed publication (journal or conference);
  2. the title or abstract must name the algorithm after the natural (or supernatural) metaphor on which it was based;

It is also important to highlight that only the earliest known mention for each metaphor is included.

More Info:

If you liked this list, you should read the paper “Metaheuristic: The Metaphor Exposed”, by Kenneth Söresen
Need inspiration for your next Bioinspired algorithm? Check Marco Scirea and Julian Togelius’ Daily Bio-heuristics bot.
Some of the algorithms listed here were found in a list compiled by Iztok Fister Jr. et al., which is available here. Iztok also recently published this paper reflecting on the ploriferation of metaphors in EC research. A fantastic parody of this whole metaphor craze can be read here. Highly recommended!

License:

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license (Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike International License version 4.0): http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

free counter