Evolutionary computation techniques have received a great deal of attention regarding their potential as optimization techniques for complex numerical functions. However, they have not produced a significant breakthrough in the area of nonlinear programming due to the fact that they have not addressed the issue of constraints in a systematic way. Only recently have several methods been proposed for handling nonlinear constraints by evolutionary algorithms for numerical optimization problems; however, these methods have several drawbacks, and the experimental results on many test cases have been disappointing.

In this paper we (1) discuss difficulties connected with solving the general nonlinear programming problem; (2) survey several approaches that have emerged in the evolutionary computation community; and (3) provide a set of 11 interesting test cases that may serve as a handy reference for future methods.

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