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A Comparative Study of Rigid and Modified Simplex Methods for Optimal Parameter Settings of ACO for Noisy Non-Linear Surfaces

Authors: Seksan Chunothaisawat, Pongchanun Luangpaiboon


There are two common types of operational research techniques, optimisation and metaheuristic methods. The latter may be defined as a sequential process that intelligently performs the exploration and exploitation adopted by natural intelligence and strong inspiration to form several iterative searches. An aim is to effectively determine near optimal solutions in a solution space. In this work, a type of metaheuristics called Ant Colonies Optimisation, ACO, inspired by a foraging behaviour of ants was adapted to find optimal solutions of eight non-linear continuous mathematical models. Under a consideration of a solution space in a specified region on each model, sub-solutions may contain global or multiple local optimum. Moreover, the algorithm has several common parameters; number of ants, moves, and iterations, which act as the algorithm-s driver. A series of computational experiments for initialising parameters were conducted through methods of Rigid Simplex, RS, and Modified Simplex, MSM. Experimental results were analysed in terms of the best so far solutions, mean and standard deviation. Finally, they stated a recommendation of proper level settings of ACO parameters for all eight functions. These parameter settings can be applied as a guideline for future uses of ACO. This is to promote an ease of use of ACO in real industrial processes. It was found that the results obtained from MSM were pretty similar to those gained from RS. However, if these results with noise standard deviations of 1 and 3 are compared, MSM will reach optimal solutions more efficiently than RS, in terms of speed of convergence.

Keywords: Ant colony optimisation, metaheuristics, modified simplex, non-linear, rigid simplex.

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