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Ant Algorithms

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(Not ant farms!) I'm doing some early work on the use of Ant Algorithms for game AI. It's a method broadly similar to genetic algorithms, but with a metaphor that is particularly suitable to pathfinding. The general idea is that when you want to choose a path, you release lots of ants to wander around. If they find good paths, they mark the trail the followed, so that future iterations are more likely to follow that path. Then the AI selects the best-marked trail to follow in the game. My own twist is to add ants representing opponents/team-mates so that everone can 'evolve' a path together. I have a basic maze-game as a test-bed. I'm curious to know if anyone else is looking at AAs in games. Heard of it? Tried it? Sick of it? Let me know. ------------------- Chris Rook. Edited by - Chris Rook on October 19, 2001 10:45:37 AM

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I saw this used in... (you guessed it) SimAnt!
They wander around looking for food, and when they find some and return with it they leave a "chemical" trail.

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
I saw this used in... (you guessed it) SimAnt!
They wander around looking for food, and when they find some and return with it they leave a "chemical" trail.


You know I always wondered if you did that but wasn''t sure....




Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com
www.gameai.com

From the High Mountains of Colorado

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Ferretman
You know I always wondered if you did that but wasn''t sure....

huh?

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
[quote]Original post by Ferretman
You know I always wondered if you did that but wasn''t sure....

huh?

Duh...I meant if the game had done that....why did I say you ? Sorry, sorry, mea culpa, mea culpa....



Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com
www.gameai.com

From the High Mountains of Colorado

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Yes, I know about Sim Ant. What I''m really interested in is the idea of using the process to find paths in a game that has nothing to do with ants - an alternative to A*, if you like. The player isn''t aware that ants are being used, it''s really just a metaphor that helps the programmer write an iterative, reinforcement-learning pathfinding process.
There are a group of researchers who use the ant metaphor to find solutions to things like the travelling salesman problem. I''m trying to see if there''s any scope for use in game AI. (My suspicion is that it''s too slow, but worth checking.)

-------------
Chris

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