Abstract

In the last decade, many works in combinatorial optimisation have shown that, due to the advances in multi-objective optimisation, the algorithms from this field could be used for solving single-objective problems as well. In this sense, a number of papers have proposed multi-objectivising single-objective problems in order to use multi-objective algorithms in their optimisation. In this article, we follow up this idea by presenting a methodology for multi-objectivising combinatorial optimisation problems based on elementary landscape decompositions of their objective function. Under this framework, each of the elementary landscapes obtained from the decomposition is considered as an independent objective function to optimise. In order to illustrate this general methodology, we consider four problems from different domains: the quadratic assignment problem and the linear ordering problem (permutation domain), the 0-1 unconstrained quadratic optimisation problem (binary domain), and the frequency assignment problem (integer domain). We implemented two widely known multi-objective algorithms, NSGA-II and SPEA2, and compared their performance with that of a single-objective GA. The experiments conducted on a large benchmark of instances of the four problems show that the multi-objective algorithms clearly outperform the single-objective approaches. Furthermore, a discussion on the results suggests that the multi-objective space generated by this decomposition enhances the exploration ability, thus permitting NSGA-II and SPEA2 to obtain better results in the majority of the tested instances.

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