Particle Swarm Optimizers (PSOs) have been widely used for optimization problems, but the scientific community still does not have sophisticated mechanisms to analyze the behavior of the swarm during the optimization process. We propose in this paper to use some metrics described in network sciences, specifically the
-value, the number of zero eigenvalues of the Laplacian Matrix, and the Spectral Density, in order to assess the behavior of the particles during the search and diagnose stagnation processes. Assessor methods can be very useful for designing novel PSOs or when one needs to evaluate the performance of a PSO variation applied to a specific problem. In order to apply these metrics, we observed that it is not possible to analyze the dynamics of the swarm by using the communication topology because it does not change. Therefore, we propose in this paper the definition of the influence graph of the swarm. We used this novel concept to assess the dynamics of the swarm. We tested our proposed methodology in three different PSOs in a well-known multimodal benchmark function. We observed that one can retrieve interesting information from the swarm by using this methodology.
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