Service selection is crucial to service composition in determining the composite Quality of Service (QoS). The proliferation of composable services on the Internet and the practical need for timely delivering optimized composite solutions motivate the adoption of population-based algorithms for QoS-aware service selection. However, existing population-based algorithms are generally complicated to use, and often used as a general approach to solving different optimization problems. We propose to develop specialized algorithms for QoS-aware service selection, based on the artificial bee colony algorithm (ABC). ABC is a new and simpler implementation of swarm intelligence, which has proven to be successful in solving many real-world problems, especially the numerical optimization problems. We develop an approximate approach for the neighborhood search of ABC, which enables effective local search in the discrete space of service selection in a way that is analogical to the search in a continuous space. We present three algorithms based on the approach. All the three algorithms are designed to improve the performance and meanwhile preserve the simplicity of ABC. Each algorithm applies a different technique to leverage the unique characteristics of the service selection problem. Experimental results show higher accuracy and convergence speed of the proposed algorithms over the state of the art algorithms.
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