“Annealing Strategies” is a system/piece/patch that optimises and searches a chaotic parameter space using the process of simulated annealing. This algorithm mimics the physical mechanism of gradually cooling metal in order to remove internal stresses and strengthen it. The algorithm shares similarities and in a way is an improvement on the hill climbing algorithm, with the addition of a ‘temperature’ coefficient that allows for local minima and maxima to be escaped from. Random decisions are allowed with respect to this coefficient, meaning the system is volatile and explorative at high temperatures and more conservative and exploitative at low temperatures. As the system is cooled the system hones in on an optimised solution.
The sound generating guts of the system are a digital emulation of Peter Blasser’s (Ciat-Lonbarde) Fyrall. A single input is used to control the 24 parameters of the synthesis engine through a fixed and non-linear mapping. The output of the system is measured in decibels using an EBUR128 loudness descriptor essentially forming an unpredictable relationsip between a single input and output. The sim-annealing algorithm attempts to find at which input parameter the output can be minimised, creating a an exploratory journey to an optimised solution.
The output of this system can be found on the music page.