A Swarm Metaphor for Multiobjective Design Optimization


This paper presents a new optimization algorithm to solve multiobjective design optimization problems based on behavioral concepts similar to that of a real swarm. The individuals of a swarm update their flying direction through communication with their neighboring leaders with an aim to collectively attain a common goal. The success of the swarm is attributed to three fundamental processes: identification of a set of leaders, selection of a leader for information acquisition, and finally a meaningful information transfer scheme. The proposed algorithm mimics the above behavioral processes of a real swami. The algorithm employs a multilevel sieve to generate a set of leaders, a probabilistic crowding radius-based strategy for leader selection and a simple generational operator for information transfer. Two test problems, one with a discontinuous Pareto front and the other with a multi-modal Pareto front is solved to illustrate the capabilities of the algorithm in handling mathematically complex problems. Three well-studied engineering design optimization problems (unconstrained and constrained problems with continuous and discrete variables) are solved to illustrate the efficiency and applicability of the algorithm for multiobjective design optimization. The results clearly indicate that the swarm algorithm is capable of generating an extended Pareto front, consisting of well spread Pareto points with significantly fewer function evaluations when compared to the nondominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA).