An Algorithm for Many-Objective Optimization with Reduced Objective Computations: A Study in Differential Evolution


In this paper we have developed an algorithm for many-objective optimization problems, which will work more quickly than existing ones, while offering competitive performance. The algorithm periodically reorders the objectives based on their conflict status and selects a subset of conflicting objectives for further processing. We have taken differential evolution multiobjective optimization (DEMO) as the underlying meta-heuristic evolutionary algorithm, and implemented the technique of selecting a subset of conflicting objectives using a correlation-based ordering of objectives. The resultant method is called a-DEMO, where a is a parameter determining the number of conflicting objectives to be selected. We have also proposed a new form of elitism so as to restrict the number of higher ranked solutions that are selected in the next population. The a-DEMO with the revised elitism is referred to as a-DEMO-revised. Extensive results of the five DTLZ functions show that the number of objective computations required in the proposed algorithm is much less compared to the existing algorithms, while the convergence measures are competitive or often better. Statistical significance testing is also performed. A real-life application on structural optimization of factory shed truss is demonstrated.