ACO

Ant Colony Optimisation (ACO) is an effective population-based meta-heuristic for the solution of a wide variety of problems. As a population-based algorithm, its computation is intrinsically massively parallel, and it is therefore theoretically well-suited for implementation on Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). The ACO algorithm comprises two main stages: Tour construction and Pheromone update. The former has been previously implemented on the GPU, using a task-based parallelism approach. However, up until now, the latter has always been implemented on the CPU. In this paper, we discuss several parallelisation strategies for both stages of the ACO algorithm on the GPU. We propose an alternative data-based parallelism scheme for Tour construction, which fits better on the GPU architecture. We also describe novel GPU programming strategies for the Pheromone update stage. Our results show a total speed-up exceeding 28x for the Tour construction stage, and 20x for Pheromone update, and suggest that ACO is a potentially fruitful area for future research in the GPU domain.