Abstract

Since the suggestion of a computing procedure of multiple Pareto-optimal solutions in multi-objective optimization problems in the early Nineties, researchers have been on the look out for a procedure which is computationally fast and simultaneously capable of finding a well-converged and well-distributed set of solutions. Most multi-objective evolutionary algorithms (MOEAs) developed in the past decade are either good for achieving a well-distributed solutions at the expense of a large computational effort or computationally fast at the expense of achieving a not-so-good distribution of solutions. For example, although the Strength Pareto Evolutionary Algorithm or SPEA (Zitzler and Thiele, 1999) produces a much better distribution compared to the elitist non-dominated sorting GA or NSGA-II (Deb et al., 2002a), the computational time needed to run SPEA is much greater. In this paper, we evaluate a recently-proposed steady-state MOEA (Deb et al., 2003) which was developed based on the ε-dominance concept introduced earlier (Laumanns et al., 2002) and using efficient parent and archive update strategies for achieving a well-distributed and well-converged set of solutions quickly. Based on an extensive comparative study with four other state-of-the-art MOEAs on a number of two, three, and four objective test problems, it is observed that the steady-state MOEA is a good compromise in terms of convergence near to the Pareto-optimal front, diversity of solutions, and computational time. Moreover, the ε-MOEA is a step closer towards making MOEAs pragmatic, particularly allowing a decision-maker to control the achievable accuracy in the obtained Pareto-optimal solutions.

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