Ant Colony Optimazation for Transportation Optimization Problems

The Western Transportation Institute (WTI) leads numerous research projects to improve transportation in rural areas. A typical challenge in locations is the absence of seamless or reliable communication, due to the difficulty of effectively placing infrastructure in remote areas or rugged terrain. A WTI researcher has conducted preliminary research into the use of an optimization technique called "Ant Colony Optimization," to investigate whether it can be applied to select optimal placement of communications infrastructure along a roadside. The initial research has included computational analysis, integration of digital elevation models, and development of a working algorithm. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is an artificial intelligence algorithm and is a form of "Swarm Intelligence." Ant Colony Optimization algorithms mimic the behavior of ants searching for food. Ants deposit pheromones on the paths they follow when searching for food. The ants that find food survive and retrace their paths back to their homes, making the pheromone deposited along trails leading to food even stronger. Other ants follow pheromone-laden trails leading to food, and ultimately the shortest paths to food are found by the collective ant colony. Similarly, ACO explores potential paths to solutions of problems and increases the weights of paths leading to good solutions. Ultimately, ACO algorithms converge to near-optimal solutions for very complex problems, such as the infrastructure placement problem. This project will allow the researchers of the Systems Engineering Group to build on the previous research through enhancement of the estimation techniques and algorithm, generation of test cases based on real locations and equipment, and identification of other applications for the techniques used in the research. The overall objective of this project is to formalize, test and enhance propagation estimate techniques used to select the optimal placement of communications infrastructure using artificial intelligence.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Avneue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Western Transportation Institute

    Montana State University
    P.O. Box 174250
    Bozeman, MT  United States  59717-4250
  • Principal Investigators:

    Galarus, Douglas

  • Start Date: 20070601
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20081231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 14782

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01462800
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Western Transportation Institute
  • Contract Numbers: 4W1618
  • Files: UTC, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:10PM