The nature of nature: Why nature-inspired algorithms work

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Nature has inspired many algorithms for solving complex problems. Understanding how and why these natural models work leads not only to new insights about nature, but also to an understanding of deep relationships between familiar algorithms. Here, we show that network properties underlie and define a whole family of nature-inspired algorithms. In particular, the network defined by neighbor hoods within landscapes (real or virtual) underlies the searches and phase transitions mediate between local and global search. Three paradigms drawn from computer science—dual-phase evolution, evolutionary dynamics and generalized local search machines—provide theoretical foundations for understanding how nature-inspired algorithms function. Several algorithms provide useful examples, especially genetic algorithms, ant colony optimization and simulated annealing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNature-Inspired Computing and Optimization
    Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Applications
    EditorsSrikanta Patnaik, Xin-She Yang, Kazumi Nakamatsu
    Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
    Number of pages27
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319509204
    ISBN (Print)9783319509198
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Publication series

    NameModeling and Optimization in Science and Technologies
    ISSN (Print)2196-7326
    ISSN (Electronic)2196-7334


    • Dual-phase evolution
    • Evolutionary dynamics
    • Generalized local search machines
    • Nature-inspired algorithms

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