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Artificial chemistry approach to exploring search spaces using artificial reaction network agents.

Gerrard, Claire E.; McCall, John; Macleod, Christopher; Coghill, George M.


Claire E. Gerrard

Christopher Macleod

George M. Coghill


The Artificial Reaction Network (ARN) is a cell signaling network inspired representation belonging to the branch of A-Life known as Artificial Chemistry. It has properties in common with both AI and Systems Biology techniques including Artificial Neural Networks, Petri Nets, Random Boolean Networks and S-Systems. The ARN has been previously applied to control of limbed robots and simulation of biological signaling pathways. In this paper, multiple instances of independent distributed ARN controlled agents function to find the global minima within a set of simulated environments characterized by benchmark problems. The search behavior results from the internal ARN network, but is enhanced by collective activities and stigmergic interaction of the agents. The results show that the agents are able to find best fitness solutions in all problems, and compare well with results of cell inspired optimization algorithms. Such a system may have practical application in distributed or swarm robotics.


GERRARD, C.E., MCCALL, J., MACLEOD, C. and COGHILL, G.M. 2013. Artificial chemistry approach to exploring search spaces using artificial reaction network agents. In Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE congress on evolutionary computation (CEC 2013), 20-23 June 2013, Cancun, Mexico. New York: IEEE [online], article number 6557702, pages 1201-1208. Available from:

Conference Name 2013 IEEE congress on evolutionary computation (CEC 2013)
Conference Location Cancun, Mexico
Start Date Jun 20, 2013
End Date Jun 23, 2013
Acceptance Date Jun 23, 2013
Online Publication Date Jun 23, 2013
Publication Date Jul 15, 2013
Deposit Date Aug 12, 2013
Publicly Available Date Aug 12, 2013
Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Article Number 6557702
Pages 1201-1208
Series Title IEEE transactions on evolutionary computation
ISBN 9781479904549; 9781479904532; 9781479904518
Keywords Artificial reaction networks; Artificial chemistry; Swarm robotics
Public URL


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