Dynamic multi-objective optimization using evolutionary algorithms

Herring, Daniel ORCID: 0000-0003-3825-0411 (2023). Dynamic multi-objective optimization using evolutionary algorithms. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Dynamic Multi-objective Optimization Problems (DMOPs) offer an opportunity to examine and solve challenging real world scenarios where trade-off solutions between conflicting objectives change over time. Definition of benchmark problems allows modelling of industry scenarios across transport, power and communications networks, manufacturing and logistics. Recently, significant progress has been made in the variety and complexity of DMOP benchmarks and the incorporation of realistic dynamic characteristics. However, significant gaps still exist in standardised methodology for DMOPs, specific problem domain examples and in the understanding of the impacts and explanations of dynamic characteristics. This thesis provides major contributions on these three topics within evolutionary dynamic multi-objective optimization. Firstly, experimental protocols for DMOPs are varied. This limits the applicability and relevance of results produced and conclusions made in the field. A major source of the inconsistency lies in the parameters used to define specific problem instances being examined. The uninformed selection of these has historically held back understanding of their impacts and standardisation in experimental approach to these parameters in the multi-objective problem domain. Using the frequency and severity (or magnitude) of change events, a more informed approach to DMOP experimentation is conceptualized, implemented and evaluated. Establishment of a baseline performance expectation across a comprehensive range of dynamic instances for well-studied DMOP benchmarks is analyzed. To maximize relevance, these profiles are composed from the performance of evolutionary algorithms commonly used for baseline comparisons and those with simple dynamic responses. Comparison and contrast with the coverage of parameter combinations in the sampled literature highlights the importance of these contributions. Secondly, the provision of useful and realistic DMOPs in the combinatorial domain is limited in previous literature. A novel dynamic benchmark problem is presented by the extension of the Travelling Thief Problem (TTP) to include a variety of realistic and contextually justified dynamic changes. Investigation of problem information exploitation and it's potential application as a dynamic response is a key output of these results and context is provided through comparison to results obtained by adapting existing TTP heuristics. Observation driven iterative development prompted the investigation of multi-population island model strategies, together with improvements in the approaches to accurately describe and compare the performance of algorithm models for DMOPs, a contribution which is applicable beyond the dynamic TTP. Thirdly, the purpose of DMOPs is to reconstruct realistic scenarios, or features from them, to allow for experimentation and development of better optimization algorithms. However, numerous important characteristics from real systems still require implementation and will drive research and development of algorithms and mechanisms to handle these industrially relevant problem classes. The novel challenges associated with these implementations are significant and diverse, even for a simple development such as consideration of DMOPs with multiple time dependencies. Real world systems with dynamics are likely to contain multiple temporally changing aspects, particularly in energy and transport domains. Problems with more than one dynamic problem component allow for asynchronous changes and a differing severity between components that leads to an explosion in the size of the possible dynamic instance space. Both continuous and combinatorial problem domains require structured investigation into the best practices for experimental design, algorithm application and performance measurement, comparison and visualization. Highlighting the challenges, the key requirements for effective progress and recommendations on experimentation are explored here.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Yao, XinUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0001-8837-4442
Kirley, MichaelUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0002-6030-858X
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Computer Science
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Priestly Sholarship Scheme
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/13598


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