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Metaheuristic optimization of power and energy systems: underlying principles and main issues of the 'rush to heuristics'

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In the power and energy systems area, a progressive increase of literature contributions containing applications of metaheuristic algorithms is occurring. In many cases, these applications are merely aimed at proposing the testing of an existing metaheuristic algorithm on a specific problem, claiming that the proposed method is better than other methods based on weak comparisons. This 'rush to heuristics' does not happen in the evolutionary computation domain, where the rules for setting up rigorous comparisons are stricter, but are typical of the domains of application of the metaheuristics. This paper considers the applications to power and energy systems, and aims at providing a comprehensive view of the main issues concerning the use of metaheuristics for global optimization problems. A set of underlying principles that characterize the metaheuristic algorithms is presented. The customization of metaheuristic algorithms to fit the constraints of specific problems is discussed. Some weaknesses and pitfalls found in literature contributions are identified, and specific guidelines are provided on how to prepare sound contributions on the application of metaheuristic algorithms to specific problems.


Approximation-Guided Evolutionary Multi-Objective Optimization

AAAI Conferences

Multi-objective optimization problems arise frequently in applications but can often only be solved approximately by heuristic approaches. Evolutionary algorithms have been widely used to tackle multi-objective problems. These algorithms use different measures to ensure diversity in the objective space but are not guided by a formal notion of approximation. We present a new framework of an evolutionary algorithm for multi-objective optimization that allows to work with a formal notion of approximation. Our experimental results show that our approach outperforms state-of-the-art evolutionary algorithms in terms of the quality of the approximation that is obtained in particular for problems with many objectives.


srMO-BO-3GP: A sequential regularized multi-objective constrained Bayesian optimization for design applications

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Bayesian optimization (BO) is an efficient and flexible global optimization framework that is applicable to a very wide range of engineering applications. To leverage the capability of the classical BO, many extensions, including multi-objective, multi-fidelity, parallelization, latent-variable model, have been proposed to improve the limitation of the classical BO framework. In this work, we propose a novel multi-objective (MO) extension, called srMO-BO-3GP, to solve the MO optimization problems in a sequential setting. Three different Gaussian processes (GPs) are stacked together, where each of the GP is assigned with a different task: the first GP is used to approximate the single-objective function, the second GP is used to learn the unknown constraints, and the third GP is used to learn the uncertain Pareto frontier. At each iteration, a MO augmented Tchebycheff function converting MO to single-objective is adopted and extended with a regularized ridge term, where the regularization is introduced to smoothen the single-objective function. Finally, we couple the third GP along with the classical BO framework to promote the richness and diversity of the Pareto frontier by the exploitation and exploration acquisition function. The proposed framework is demonstrated using several numerical benchmark functions, as well as a thermomechanical finite element model for flip-chip package design optimization.


Pareto Multi-Task Learning

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Multi-task learning is a powerful method for solving multiple correlated tasks simultaneously. However, it is often impossible to find one single solution to optimize all the tasks, since different tasks might conflict with each other. Recently, a novel method is proposed to find one single Pareto optimal solution with good trade-off among different tasks by casting multi-task learning as multiobjective optimization. In this paper, we generalize this idea and propose a novel Pareto multi-task learning algorithm (Pareto MTL) to find a set of well-distributed Pareto solutions which can represent different trade-offs among different tasks. The proposed algorithm first formulates a multi-task learning problem as a multiobjective optimization problem, and then decomposes the multiobjective optimization problem into a set of constrained subproblems with different trade-off preferences. By solving these subproblems in parallel, Pareto MTL can find a set of well-representative Pareto optimal solutions with different trade-off among all tasks. Practitioners can easily select their preferred solution from these Pareto solutions, or use different trade-off solutions for different situations. Experimental results confirm that the proposed algorithm can generate well-representative solutions and outperform some state-of-the-art algorithms on many multi-task learning applications.


On the performance of multi-objective estimation of distribution algorithms for combinatorial problems

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Fitness landscape analysis investigates features with a high influence on the performance of optimization algorithms, aiming to take advantage of the addressed problem characteristics. In this work, a fitness landscape analysis using problem features is performed for a Multi-objective Bayesian Optimization Algorithm (mBOA) on instances of MNK-landscape problem for 2, 3, 5 and 8 objectives. We also compare the results of mBOA with those provided by NSGA-III through the analysis of their estimated runtime necessary to identify an approximation of the Pareto front. Moreover, in order to scrutinize the probabilistic graphic model obtained by mBOA, the Pareto front is examined according to a probabilistic view. The fitness landscape study shows that mBOA is moderately or loosely influenced by some problem features, according to a simple and a multiple linear regression model, which is being proposed to predict the algorithms performance in terms of the estimated runtime. Besides, we conclude that the analysis of the probabilistic graphic model produced at the end of evolution can be useful to understand the convergence and diversity performances of the proposed approach.