Ant colony optimization (ACO) is an efficient heuristic algorithm for combinatorial optimization problems, such as clustering. Because the search strategy of ACO is similar to those of other well-known heuristics, the probability of searching particular regions will be increased if better results are found and kept. Although this kind of search strategy may find a better approximate solution, it also has a high probability of losing the potential search directions. To prevent the ACO from losing too many potential search directions at the early iterations, a novel pheromone updating strategy is presented in this paper. In addition to the "original" pheromone table used to keep track of the promising information, a second pheromone table is added to the proposed algorithm to keep track of the unpromising information so as to increase the probability of searching directions worse than the current solutions. Several well-known clustering datasets are used to evaluate the performance of the proposed method in this paper. The experimental results show that the proposed method can provide better results than ACO and other clustering algorithms in terms of quality.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes