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Selection methods and diversity preservation in many-objective evolutionary algorithms

Luis Martí (Institute of Computing, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil)
Eduardo Segredo (School of Computing, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK) (Departamento de Ingeniería Informática y de Sistemas, Universidad de La Laguna, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Spain)
Nayat Sánchez-Pi (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Emma Hart (School of Computing, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)

Data Technologies and Applications

ISSN: 2514-9288

Article publication date: 23 August 2018

Issue publication date: 4 October 2018

Abstract

Purpose

One of the main components of multi-objective, and therefore, many-objective evolutionary algorithms, is the selection mechanism. It is responsible for performing two main tasks simultaneously. First, it has to promote convergence by selecting solutions which are as close as possible to the Pareto optimal set. And second, it has to promote diversity in the solution set provided. In the current work, an exhaustive study that involves the comparison of several selection mechanisms with different features is performed. Particularly, Pareto-based and indicator-based selection schemes, which belong to well-known multi-objective optimisers, are considered. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Each of those mechanisms is incorporated into a common multi-objective evolutionary algorithm framework. The main goal of the study is to measure the diversity preserved by each of those selection methods when addressing many-objective optimisation problems. The Walking Fish Group test suite, a set of optimisation problems with a scalable number of objective functions, is taken into account to perform the experimental evaluation.

Findings

The computational results highlight that the the reference-point-based selection scheme of the Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm III and a modified version of the Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II, where the crowding distance is replaced by the Euclidean distance, are able to provide the best performance, not only in terms of diversity preservation, but also in terms of convergence.

Originality/value

The performance provided by the use of the Euclidean distance as part of the selection scheme indicates this is a promising line of research and, to the best of the knowledge, it has not been investigated yet.

Keywords

Citation

Martí, L., Segredo, E., Sánchez-Pi, N. and Hart, E. (2018), "Selection methods and diversity preservation in many-objective evolutionary algorithms", Data Technologies and Applications, Vol. 52 No. 4, pp. 502-519. https://doi.org/10.1108/DTA-01-2018-0009

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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