Event sponsored by:


The behavior of social insects in general, and of ant colonies in particular, has long since fascinated both the scientist and the layman. Researchers in ethology and animal behavior have proposed many models to explain interesting aspects of social insect behavior such as self-organization and shape-formation. Recently, ant algorithms have been proposed as a novel computational model that replaces the traditional emphasis on control, preprogramming, and centralization with designs featuring autonomy, emergence, and distributed functioning. These designs are proving flexible and robust, they are able to adapt quickly to changing environments and they continue functioning when individual elements fail.

A particularly successful research direction in ant algorithms, known as ant colony optimization (ACO), is dedicated to their application to discrete optimization problems. Ant colony optimization has been applied successfully to a large number of difficult combinatorial problems such as the traveling salesman problem, the quadratic assignment problem, scheduling problems as well as to routing in telecommunication networks.

ANTS 2002 is the third edition of the only event entirely devoted to ant algorithms and to ant colony optimization. Also of great interest to the workshop are models of ant colony behavior which could stimulate new algorithmic approaches.

The workshop will give researchers in both real ant behavior and in ant colony optimization an opportunity to meet, to present their latest research, and to discuss current developments and applications.

The three-day workshop will be held in Brussels, Belgium, September 12-14, 2002. In the late afternoon of September 11th there will be also a tutorial on ant algorithms.


ANTS 2002 solicites contributions dealing with any aspect of ant algorithms and ant colony optimization. Typical, but not exclusive topics of interest are:

  • Models of aspects of real ant colonies behavior that can stimulate new algorithmic approaches.

  • Empirical and theoretical research in ant algorithms and ant colony optimization.

  • Application of ant algorithms and ant colony optimization methods to real-world problems.

  • Related research in swarm intelligence.


Conference proceedings will be published by Springer-Verlag in the Lecture Notes on Computer Science series and distributed to the participants at the conference site.

Submitted papers must be between 8 and 12 pages long, and must conform to the LNCS style.
It is important that submissions are already in the LNCS format (papers that do not respect this formatting may not be considered).

Submitted papers should be either in Postscript or Adobe PDF format and should be emailed to: ants-submissions@iridia.ulb.ac.be.
Each submission will be acknowledged by email.

Each submitted paper will be peer reviewed by at least two referees.


A best paper award will be presented at the workshop.


All accepted papers will be presented at the workshop as oral presentations or as posters.

By submitting a camera-ready paper, the authors agree that at least one author will attend and present their paper at the workshop.

A registration fee of 200 EUR will cover organization expenses, workshop proceedings, the possibility to attend a tutorial on ant algorithms in the late afternoon of September 11, coffee breaks, and a workshop social dinner on Friday 13 evening.
A reduced PhD student registration fee of 150 EUR is available. A proof of inscription to a doctoral school will be necessary.

Up-to-date information about the workshop will be available at the ANTS 2002 web site.

For information about local arrangements, registration forms, etc., please refer to the above mentioned web site, or contact the local organizers at the address below.


The number of participants will be limited. If you intend to participate please fill in the INTENTION FORM and email it to: ants-registration@iridia.ulb.ac.be.

Only researchers that have received a confirmation to their intention form may take part in the workshop.


Submission deadline April 14, 2002
Notification of acceptance May 31, 2002
Camera ready copy June 16, 2002
Tutorial Sep 11, 2002
Workshop Sep 12-14, 2002



Marco DORIGO, Ph.D. IRIDIA, ULB, Belgium (mdorigo@ulb.ac.be)

FNRS Senior researcher            Tel +32-2-6503169
IRIDIA CP 194/6                   Fax +32-2-6502715
Universite' Libre de Bruxelles    Secretary +32-2-6502729
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 50      http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~mdorigo/
1050 Bruxelles                    http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~ants/ants2002/
Belgium                           http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/dorigo/ACO/ACO.html  


Gianni DI CARO, IRIDIA, ULB, Belgium (gdicaro@ulb.ac.be)
Michael SAMPELS, IRIDIA, ULB, Belgium (msampels@ulb.ac.be)


Christian BLUM, IRIDIA, ULB, Belgium (cblum@ulb.ac.be)
Mauro BIRATTARI, IRIDIA, ULB, Belgium (mbiro@ulb.ac.be)


Payman ARABSHAHI, JPL, NASA, Pasadena, CA, USA
Nigel BEAN, University of Adelaide, Australia
Freddy BRUCKSTEIN, Technion, Haifa, Israel
Oscar CORDON, University Of Granada, Spain
David CORNE, University of Reading, Great Britain
Jean-Louis DENEUBOURG, Universite' Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Luca M. GAMBARDELLA, IDSIA, Lugano, Switzerland
Michel GENDREAU, Universite' de Montreal, Canada
Walter GUTJAHR, University of Vienna, Austria
Owen HOLLAND, University of West England, Bristol, Great Britain
Vittorio MANIEZZO, Universita' di Bologna, Italy
Alcherio MARTINOLI, Caltech, Pasadena, CA, USA
Daniel MERKLE, Universitaet Karlsruhe, Germany
Peter MERZ, University of Tübingen, Germany
Martin MIDDENDORF, Catholic Univ. of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany
Ben PAECHTER, Napier University, Edinburgh, Great Britain
Rainer PALM Siemens, Munich, Germany
Van PARUNAK, Altarum Institute, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Carles SIERRA, CSIC, Bellaterra, Spain
Thomas STUETZLE, Technische Universitaet Darmstadt, Germany
Tatsuya SUDA, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
Guy THERAULAZ, Universite' Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France
Thanos VASILAKOS, ICS-FORTH, Crete, Greece


Building C - 4th floor  
Avenue A. Buyl 87
1050 Brussels, Belgium

IRIDIA, Dorigo's lab, is at the 5th floor of the same building. There will be signs giving directions to the workshop rooms.


Note that just before ANTS 2002, the conference PPSN-VII, will take place in Granada, Spain.

Last updated Jan 11, 2002