In computer science, particle swarm optimization (PSO) is a computational method that optimizes a problem by iteratively trying to improve a candidate solution with regard to a given measure of quality. PSO optimizes a problem by having a population of candidate solutions, here dubbed particles, and moving these particles around in the search-space according to simple mathematical formulae over the particle's position and velocity.
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Swarm behaviour
Swarm behaviour, or swarming, is a collective behaviour exhibited by animals of similar size which aggregate together, perhaps milling about the same spot or perhaps moving en masse or migrating in some direction. As a term, swarming is applied particularly to insects, but can also be applied to any other animal that exhibits swarm behaviour.
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Particle
In the physical sciences, a particle is a small localized object to which can be ascribed several physical properties such as volume or mass. The word is rather general in meaning, and is refined as needed by various scientific fields. Whether objects can be considered particles depends on the scale of the context; if an object's own size is small or negligible, or if geometrical properties and structure are irrelevant, then it can be considered a particle.
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Maxima and minima
In mathematics, the maximum and minimum of a function, known collectively as extrema, are the largest and smallest value that the function takes at a point either within a given neighborhood (local or relative extremum) or on the function domain in its entirety (global or absolute extremum). More generally, the maximum and minimum of a set (as defined in set theory) are the greatest and least element in the set.
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Unimodality
Unimodality is a term used in several contexts in mathematics. Originally, it relates to possessing a unique mode.
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Evolutionary algorithm
In artificial intelligence, an evolutionary algorithm (EA) is a subset of evolutionary computation, a generic population-based metaheuristic optimization algorithm. An EA uses some mechanisms inspired by biological evolution: reproduction, mutation, recombination, and selection. Candidate solutions to the optimization problem play the role of individuals in a population, and the fitness function determines the environment within which the solutions "live".
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Velocity
In physics, velocity is speed in a given direction. Speed describes only how fast an object is moving, whereas velocity gives both the speed and direction of the object's motion. To have a constant velocity, an object must have a constant speed and motion in a constant direction. Constant direction typically constrains the object to motion in a straight path. A car moving at a constant 20 kilometers per hour in a circular path does not have a constant velocity.
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