Rune Skovbo Johansen
Creative Programmer & Designer


Ant Colony - Google AI Challenge

Nov 23, 2011 in ,
For the past few weeks I've taken a break from my other hobbies and let myself become distracted by Google's AI Challenge.

It's an Artificial Intelligence (AI) programming contest about programming the smartest virtual colony of ants which fight against other colonies for domination.

The matches are played entirely by the submitted programs on online servers and replays of them can be seen online at the website. My matches can be followed here, such as this one.

As mentioned, I've been at it for a few weeks, and my colony is now the 39th highest ranked world-wide out of several thousands, and the highest ranked in Denmark out of 138. :)

It's quite good fun, so I'll try to make a few more improvements, although I'm beginning to run out of ideas. It's tough competition for sure!

If you know a bit of programming, it's easy to get started, and starter packages are provided for all kinds of different programming languages including Java, C#, Python, C++ and more.

Let me know if you're participating as well!


Holdum said...

Quite impressive bot. I never peaked higher than ~100 with my bot 'Holdum'. Now it's been almost a month without any updates, but I definitely plan on doing a come back in the next few weeks.

It's good to see some danish competition :)

Rune Skovbo Johansen said...

@Holdum: Good to hear! It would have to be within the new few weeks before the content deadline December 18. :)

Holdum said...

Did you go with the traditional path finding route, or with a more fancy method along the lines of collaborative diffusion?

Rune Skovbo Johansen said...

@Holdum: Looking up collaborative diffusion, I can see it's pretty similar to my approach (or vice versa). I'm using various goals as seeds and using a queue based flood-fill algorithm to fill the space, with each cell pointing to its previous one. The ants can then all use this map (in practice a few different maps for different goal types.)