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Ant Stigmergy on the Grid Optimizing the Cooling Process in Continuous Steel Casting Peter Koros ec1 Jurij S ilc1 Bogdan Filipic 2 and Erkki Laitinen3 1 Joz ef Stefan Institute Computer Systems Department Jamova 39 SI 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia peter korosec jurij silc ijs si 2 Joz ef Stefan Institute Department of Intelligent Systems Jamova 39 SI 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia bogdan lipic ijs si 3 University of Oulu Department of Mathematical Sciences P O Box 3000 SF 90014 Oulu Finland erkki laitinen oulu Abstract The paper presents a new distributed metaheuristic algorithm in an optimal control problem related to the cooling process in the continuous casting of steel The optimization task is to tune 18 coolant ows in the caster secondary cooling system to achieve the target surface temperatures along the slab Sequential search algorithms are proved ine cient for this problem because they take too much time to compute an appropriate solution For this reason a new distributed search algorithm based on stigmergy perceived in ant colony was developed The algorithm was run on the Grid that allows us to solve this optimization problem in much shorter time As a matter of fact the computation time can be decreased from half a day to a few hours without any decrease in the solution quality 1 Introduction Most of the world steel production is nowadays based on continuous casting This is a complex metallurgical process in which liquid steel is cooled and shaped into semi manufactures To achieve proper quality of cast steel it is essential to control the metal ow and heat transfer during the casting process They depend on numerous parameters such as the casting temperature casting speed and coolant ows Finding optimal values of process parameters 1 4244 0054 6 06 20 00 2006 IEEE is di cult since di erent often con icting criteria are involved the number of possible parameter settings is high and parameter tuning through real world experimentation is not feasible because of costs and

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