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An improved hybrid flower pollination algorithm for assembly sequence optimization

Atul Mishra (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India)
Sankha Deb (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 8 October 2018

Issue publication date: 16 April 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Assembly sequence optimization is a difficult combinatorial optimization problem having to simultaneously satisfy various feasibility constraints and optimization criteria. Applications of evolutionary algorithms have shown a lot of promise in terms of lower computational cost and time. But there remain challenges like achieving global optimum in least number of iterations with fast convergence speed, robustness/consistency in finding global optimum, etc. With the above challenges in mind, this study aims to propose an improved flower pollination algorithm (FPA) and hybrid genetic algorithm (GA)-FPA.

Design/methodology/approach

In view of slower convergence rate and more computational time required by the previous discrete FPA, this paper presents an improved hybrid FPA with different representation scheme, initial population generation strategy and modifications in local and global pollination rules. Different optimization objectives are considered like direction changes, tool changes, assembly stability, base component location and feasibility. The parameter settings of hybrid GA-FPA are also discussed.

Findings

The results, when compared with previous discrete FPA and GA, memetic algorithm (MA), harmony search and improved FPA (IFPA), the proposed hybrid GA-FPA gives promising results with respect to higher global best fitness and higher average fitness, faster convergence (especially from the previously developed variant of FPA) and most importantly improved robustness/consistency in generating global optimum solutions.

Practical implications

It is anticipated that using the proposed approach, assembly sequence planning can be accomplished efficiently and consistently with reduced lead time for process planning, making it cost-effective for industrial applications.

Originality/value

Different representation schemes, initial population generation strategy and modifications in local and global pollination rules are introduced in the IFPA. Moreover, hybridization with GA is proposed to improve convergence speed and robustness/consistency in finding globally optimal solutions.

Keywords

Citation

Mishra, A. and Deb, S. (2019), "An improved hybrid flower pollination algorithm for assembly sequence optimization", Assembly Automation, Vol. 39 No. 1, pp. 165-185. https://doi.org/10.1108/AA-09-2017-112

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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