Stochastic diffusion search: a comparison of swarm intelligence parameter estimation algorithms with RANSAC. Stochastic diffusion search (SDS) is a multi-agent global optimisation technique based on the behaviour of ants, rooted in the partial evaluation of an objective function and direct communication between agents. Standard SDS, the fundamental algorithm at work in all SDS processes, is presented here. Parameter estimation is the task of suitably fitting a model to given data; some form of parameter estimation is a key element of many computer vision processes. Here, the task of hyperplane estimation in many dimensions is investigated. Following RANSAC (random sample consensus), a widely used optimisation technique and a standard technique for many parameter estimation problems, increasingly sophisticated data-driven forms of SDS are developed. The performance of these SDS algorithms and RANSAC is analysed and compared for a hyperplane estimation task. SDS is shown to perform similarly to RANSAC, with potential for tuning to particular search problems for improved results.

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