Adaptive Control of Subpopulations in Evolutionary Dynamic Optimization


Multipopulation methods are highly effective in solving dynamic optimization problems. Three factors affect this significantly: 1) the exclusion mechanisms to avoid the convergence to the same peak by multiple subpopulations; 2) the resource allocation mechanism that assigns the computational resources to the subpopulations; and 3) the control mechanisms to adaptively adjust the number of subpopulations by considering the number of optima and available computational resources. In the existing exclusion mechanisms, when the distance (i.e., the distance between their best found positions) between two subpopulations becomes less than a predefined threshold, the inferior one will be removed/reinitialized. However, this leads to incapability of algorithms in covering peaks/optima that are closer than the threshold. Moreover, despite the importance of resource allocation due to the limited available computational resources between environmental changes, it has not been well studied in the literature. Finally, the number of subpopulations should be adapted to the number of optima. However, in most existing adaptive multipopulation methods, there is no predefined upper bound for generating subpopulations. Consequently, in problems with large numbers of peaks, they can generate too many subpopulations sharing limited computational resources. In this article, a multipopulation framework is proposed to address the aforementioned issues by using three adaptive approaches: 1) subpopulation generation; 2) double-layer exclusion; and 3) computational resource allocation. The experimental results demonstrate the superiority of the proposed framework over several peer approaches in solving various benchmark problems.

IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics