Population-Based Methods: PARTICLE SWARM OPTIMIZATION – Development of a General-Purpose Optimizer and Applications
This thesis is concerned with continuous, static, and single-objective optimization problems subject to inequality constraints. Nevertheless, some methods to handle other kinds of problems are briefly reviewed. The particle swarm optimization paradigm was inspired by previous simulations of the cooperative behaviour observed in social beings. It is a bottom-up, randomly weighted, population-based method whose ability to optimize emerges from local, individual-to-individual interactions. As
... ed to traditional methods, it can deal with different problems with few or no adaptation due to the fact that it does profit from problem-specific features of the problem at issue but performs a parallel, cooperative exploration of the search-space by means of a population of individuals. The main goal of this thesis consists of developing an optimizer that can perform reasonably well on most problems. Hence, the influence of the settings of the algorithm's parameters on the behaviour of the system is studied, some general-purpose settings are sought, and some variations to the canonical version are proposed aiming to turn it into a more general-purpose optimizer. Since no termination condition is included in the canonical version, this thesis is also concerned with the design of some stopping criteria which allow the iterative search to be terminated if further significant improvement is unlikely, or if a certain number of time-steps are reached. In addition, some constraint-handling techniques are incorporated into the canonical algorithm to handle inequality constraints. Finally, the capabilities of the proposed general-purpose optimizers are illustrated by optimizing a few benchmark problems.