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A tabu search evolutionary algorithm for multiobjective optimization: application to a bi-criterion aircraft structural reliability problem




Long, Kim Chenming, author
Duff, William S., advisor
Labadie, John W., advisor
Stansloski, Mitchell, committee member
Chong, Edwin K. P., committee member
Sampath, Walajabad S., committee member

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Real-world engineering optimization problems often require the consideration of multiple conflicting and noncommensurate objectives, subject to nonconvex constraint regions in a high-dimensional decision space. Further challenges occur for combinatorial multiobjective problems in which the decision variables are not continuous. Traditional multiobjective optimization methods of operations research, such as weighting and epsilon constraint methods, are ill-suited to solving these complex, multiobjective problems. This has given rise to the application of a wide range of metaheuristic optimization algorithms, such as evolutionary, particle swarm, simulated annealing, and ant colony methods, to multiobjective optimization. Several multiobjective evolutionary algorithms have been developed, including the strength Pareto evolutionary algorithm (SPEA) and the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA), for determining the Pareto-optimal set of non-dominated solutions. Although numerous researchers have developed a wide range of multiobjective optimization algorithms, there is a continuing need to construct computationally efficient algorithms with an improved ability to converge to globally non-dominated solutions along the Pareto-optimal front for complex, large-scale, multiobjective engineering optimization problems. This is particularly important when the multiple objective functions and constraints of the real-world system cannot be expressed in explicit mathematical representations. This research presents a novel metaheuristic evolutionary algorithm for complex multiobjective optimization problems, which combines the metaheuristic tabu search algorithm with the evolutionary algorithm (TSEA), as embodied in genetic algorithms. TSEA is successfully applied to bicriteria (i.e., structural reliability and retrofit cost) optimization of the aircraft tail structure fatigue life, which increases its reliability by prolonging fatigue life. A comparison for this application of the proposed algorithm, TSEA, with several state-of-the-art multiobjective optimization algorithms reveals that TSEA outperforms these algorithms by providing retrofit solutions with greater reliability for the same costs (i.e., closer to the Pareto-optimal front) after the algorithms are executed for the same number of generations. This research also demonstrates that TSEA competes with and, in some situations, outperforms state-of-the-art multiobjective optimization algorithms such as NSGA II and SPEA 2 when applied to classic bicriteria test problems in the technical literature and other complex, sizable real-world applications. The successful implementation of TSEA contributes to the safety of aeronautical structures by providing a systematic way to guide aircraft structural retrofitting efforts, as well as a potentially useful algorithm for a wide range of multiobjective optimization problems in engineering and other fields.


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fatigue life
multiobjective optimization
tabu search
evolutionary algorithms


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