Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

Kobti, Z.

Keywords

Applied sciences, Cultural algorithm, Dimension decomposition, Multiple populations, Optimization problems

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Optimization problems is a class of problems where the goal is to make a system as effective as possible. The goal of this research area is to design an algorithm to solve optimization problems effectively and efficiently. Being effective means that the algorithm should be able to find the optimal solution (or near optimal solutions), while efficiency refers to the computational effort required by the algorithm to find an optimal solution. In other words, an optimization algorithm should be able to find the optimal solution in an acceptable time. Therefore, the aim of this dissertation is to come up with a new algorithm which presents an effective as well as efficient performance. There are various kinds of algorithms proposed to deal with optimization problems. Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs) is a subset of population-based methods which are successfully applied to solve optimization problems. In this dissertation the area of evolutionary methods and specially Cultural Algorithms (CAs) are investigated. The results of this investigation reveal that there are some room for improving the existing EAs. Consequently, a number of EAs are proposed to deal with different optimization problems. The proposed EAs offer better performance compared to the state-of-the-art methods. The main contribution of this dissertation is to introduce a new architecture for optimization algorithms which is called Heterogeneous Multi-Population Cultural Algorithm (HMP-CA). The new architecture first incorporates a decomposition technique to divide the given problem into a number of sub-problems, and then it assigns the sub-problems to different local CAs to be optimized separately in parallel. In order to evaluate the proposed architecture, it is applied on numerical optimization problems. The evaluation results reveal that HMP-CA is fully effective such that it can find the optimal solution for every single run. Furthermore, HMP-CA outperforms the state-of-the-art methods by offering a more efficient performance. The proposed HMP-CA is further improved by incorporating an adaptive decomposition technique. The improved version which is called Adaptive HMP-CA (A-HMP-CA) is evaluated over large scale global optimization problems. The results of this evaluation show that HMP-CA significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art methods in terms of both effectiveness and efficiency.

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