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Creativity and Autonomy in Swarm Intelligence Systems

Abstract

This work introduces two swarm intelligence algorithms—one mimicking the behaviour of one species of ants (Leptothorax acervorum) foraging (a ‘stochastic diffusion search’, SDS) and the other algorithm mimicking the behaviour of birds flocking (a ‘particle swarm optimiser’, PSO)—and outlines a novel integration strategy exploiting the local search properties of the PSO with global SDS behaviour. The resulting hybrid algorithm is used to sketch novel drawings of an input image, exploiting an artistic tension between the local behaviour of the ‘birds flocking’—as they seek to follow the input sketch—and the global behaviour of the ‘ants foraging’—as they seek to encourage the flock to explore novel regions of the canvas. The paper concludes by exploring the putatve ‘creativity’ of this hybrid swarm system in the philosophical light of the ‘rhizome’ and Deleauze’s well-known ‘Orchid and Wasp’ metaphor.

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Notes

  1. For this work, we consider a ‘drawing’ to be a representation of a target image, built up from an arrangement of lines which define its form; for the purposes of this work, a drawing where all aspects of the original image are obscured is considered a poor ‘drawing’ of the target (albeit it may [or may-not] be an aesthetically pleasing object in its own right); a ‘creative’ drawing of the target is a drawing that differs noticeably from the original, whilst maintaining good correspondence [hi-fidelity] with at least some aspects of the original, such that the target image is still ‘recognisable’ in the resultant drawing.

  2. Although in principle, both functions (exploration and exploitation; local and global search of the conceptual space) could be carried out by either algorithm on its own, the basic SDS mechanism is not the best local optimiser and similarly a ‘standard’ PSO is not the best global optimiser, hence the motivation for exploring the properties of their hybridisation; promising early results of which have been reported elsewhere [1].

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Correspondence to Mohammad Majid al-Rifaie.

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al-Rifaie, M.M., Bishop, J.M. & Caines, S. Creativity and Autonomy in Swarm Intelligence Systems. Cogn Comput 4, 320–331 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12559-012-9130-y

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Keywords

  • PSO
  • SDS
  • Autonomy
  • Swarm intelligence
  • Computational creativity