FANT: Fast ant system. This paper presents a new point of view of ant systems that is more general than previous ones, identifying artificial ants with processes that cooperate through a shared memory and a Queen process that co-ordinates the Ant processes. Then, we present FANT, a new meta-heuristic based on ant systems. The technique is very simple to implement while incorporating a number of search strategies such as intensification, diversification and learning mechanisms. FANT is used to solve various hard assignment problems and shown to be very competitive with other implementations using various meta-heuristics.

This software is also peer reviewed by journal TOMS.