A Competitive-Cooperative Coevolutionary Paradigm for Dynamic Multiobjective Optimization


In addition to the need for satisfying several competing objectives, many real-world applications are also dynamic and require the optimization algorithm to track the changing optimum over time. This paper proposes a new coevolutionary paradigm that hybridizes competitive and cooperative mechanisms observed in nature to solve multiobjective optimization problems and to track the Pareto front in a dynamic environment. The main idea of competitive-cooperative coevolution is to allow the decomposition process of the optimization problem to adapt and emerge rather than being hand designed and fixed at the start of the evolutionary optimization process. In particular, each species subpopulation will compete to represent a particular subcomponent of the multiobjective problem, while the eventual winners will cooperate to evolve for better solutions. Through such an iterative process of competition and cooperation, the various subcomponents are optimized by different species subpopulations based on the optimization requirements of that particular time instant, enabling the coevolutionary algorithm to handle both the static and dynamic multiobjective problems. The effectiveness of the competitive-cooperation coevolutionary algorithm (COEA) in static environments is validated against various multiobjective evolutionary algorithms upon different benchmark problems characterized by various difficulties in local optimality, discontinuity, nonconvexity, and high-dimensionality. In addition, extensive studies are also conducted to examine the capability of dynamic COEA (dCOEA) in tracking the Pareto front as it changes with time in dynamic environments.