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Handling boundary constraints for particle swarm optimization in high-dimensional search space


Despite the fact that the popular particle swarm optimizer (PSO) is currently being extensively applied to many real-world problems that often have high-dimensional and complex fitness landscapes, the effects of boundary constraints on PSO have not attracted adequate attention in the literature. However, in accordance with the theoretical analysis in [11], our numerical experiments show that particles tend to fly outside of the boundary in the first few iterations at a very high probability in high-dimensional search spaces. Consequently, the method used to handle boundary violations is critical to the performance of PSO. In this study, we reveal that the widely used random and absorbing bound-handling schemes may paralyze PSO for high-dimensional and complex problems. We also explore in detail the distinct mechanisms responsible for the failures of these two bound-handling schemes. Finally, we suggest that using high-dimensional and complex benchmark functions, such as the composition functions in [19], is a prerequisite to identifying the potential problems in applying PSO to many real-world applications because certain properties of standard benchmark functions make problems inexplicit. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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