I just finished Albert-László Barabási's popular science book "Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do" which describes the Lévy flight as an ideal strategy for finding scarce resources in an environment. I immediately wondered whether anyone had studied them as a search algorithm. I could imagine them being more or less useful depending on the makeup of the search space. Have there been any papers on the subject?

  • $\begingroup$ Have you tried Google: "Lévy flight" search algorithm $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Nov 14 '10 at 3:48
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    $\begingroup$ Users are expected to try to answer their questions themselves (i.e. do their part) before posting them here (i.e. expecting help from others), and that includes searching using Google, Wikipedia, and Google Scholar, ... . If you have searched and did not find anything please state it in your question, if you have found some result but are looking for more please provide any related article that you have found. Please also provide motivation on why you are interested in the question. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Nov 14 '10 at 4:07
  • $\begingroup$ I haven't read Barabási's book. Does he formally prove that Lévy flights are optimal for some class of search problems in some model? If so, what's the class of problems and what's the model? $\endgroup$ – arnab Nov 14 '10 at 7:42
  • $\begingroup$ @arnab: It seems to be a pop-sci book, I don't think he proves anything in it. Take a look at its reviews on Amazon. I think we don't want people start posting questions like this simply based on an idea they have read in a pop-sci book, so I am going to vote to close as "not a real question" if OP does provide motivation. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Nov 14 '10 at 9:44
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    $\begingroup$ @James, to improve your question, you might start by explaining what a Lévy flight is in your question (perhaps just copying from the Wikipedia page you linked, perhaps in your own words), take a stab at why you think they might be interesting compared to other search alternatives that you're aware of and explain in further detail why the question, as a whole, excites you. I think you might have an interesting question at the core of what you're asking, but you need to give a little bit more in the question itself (and make it a bit more self-contained; not all of us have read the same book!). $\endgroup$ – Daniel Apon Nov 14 '10 at 13:14