Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Christopher B. Mayer, PhD


This thesis presents the adaptation of Ant Colony Optimization to a new NP-hard problem involving the replication of multi-quality database-driven web applications (DAs) by a large application service provider (ASP). The ASP must assign DA replicas to its network of heterogeneous servers so that user demand is satisfied and replica update loads are minimized. The algorithm proposed, AntDA, for solving this problem is novel in several respects: ants traverse a bipartite graph in both directions as they construct solutions, pheromone is used for traversing from one side of the bipartite graph to the other and back again, heuristic edge values change as ants construct solutions, and ants may sometimes produce infeasible solutions. Experiments show that AntDA outperforms several other solution methods, but there was room for improvement in the convergence rates of the ants. Therefore, in an attempt to achieve the goals of faster convergence and better solution values for larger problems, AntDA was combined with the variable-step policy hill-climbing algorithm called Win or Learn Fast (WoLF). In experimentation, the addition of this learning algorithm in AntDA provided for faster convergence while outperforming other solution methods.

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