User preference integration is of great importance in multi-objective optimization, in particular in many objective optimization. Preferences have long been considered in traditional multicriteria decision making (MCDM) which is based on mathematical programming. Recently, it is integrated in multi-objective metaheuristics (MOMH), resulting in focus on preferred parts of the Pareto front instead of the whole Pareto front. The number of publications on preference-based multi-objective metaheuristics has increased rapidly over the past decades. There already exist various preference handling methods and MOMH methods, which have been combined in diverse ways. This article proposes to use the Web Ontology Language (OWL) to model and systematize the results developed in this field. A review of the existing work is provided, based on which an ontology is built and instantiated with state-of-the-art results. The OWL ontology is made public and open to future extension. Moreover, the usage of the ontology is exemplified for different use-cases, including querying for methods that match an engineering application, bibliometric analysis, checking existence of combinations of preference models and MOMH techniques, and discovering opportunities for new research and open research questions.
Having developed multiobjective optimization algorithms using evolutionary optimization methods and demonstrated their niche on various practical problems involving mostly two and three objectives, there is now a growing need for developing evolutionary multiobjective optimization (EMO) algorithms for handling many-objective (having four or more objectives) optimization problems. In this paper, we recognize a few recent efforts and discuss a number of viable directions for developing a potential EMO algorithm for solving many-objective optimization problems. Thereafter, we suggest a reference-point-based many-objective evolutionary algorithm following NSGA-II framework (we call it NSGA-III) that emphasizes population members that are nondominated, yet close to a set of supplied reference points. The proposed NSGA-III is applied to a number of many-objective test problems with three to 15 objectives and compared with two versions of a recently suggested EMO algorithm (MOEA/D). While each of the two MOEA/D methods works well on different classes of problems, the proposed NSGA-III is found to produce satisfactory results on all problems considered in this paper. This paper presents results on unconstrained problems, and the sequel paper considers constrained and other specialties in handling many-objective optimization problems.
Achieving balance between convergence and diversity is a key issue in evolutionary multiobjective optimization. Most existing methodologies, which have demonstrated their niche on various practical problems involving two and three objectives, face significant challenges in many-objective optimization. This paper suggests a unified paradigm, which combines dominance- and decomposition-based approaches, for many-objective optimization. Our major purpose is to exploit the merits of both dominance- and decomposition-based approaches to balance the convergence and diversity of the evolutionary process. The performance of our proposed method is validated and compared with four state-of-the-art algorithms on a number of unconstrained benchmark problems with up to 15 objectives. Empirical results fully demonstrate the superiority of our proposed method on all considered test instances. In addition, we extend this method to solve constrained problems having a large number of objectives. Compared to two other recently proposed constrained optimizers, our proposed method shows highly competitive performance on all the constrained optimization problems.
Multi-objective optimization is an integral part of optimization activities and has a tremendous practical importance, since almost all real-world optimization problems are ideally suited to be modeled using multiple conflicting objectives. The classical means of solving such problems were primarily focused on scalarizing multiple objectives into a single objective, whereas the evolutionary means have been to solve a multi-objective optimization problem as it is. In this chapter, we discuss the fundamental principles of multi-objective optimization, the differences between multi-objective optimization and single-objective optimization, and describe a few well-known classical and evolutionary algorithms for multi-objective optimization. Two application case studies reveal the importance of multi-objective optimization in practice. A number of research challenges are then highlighted. The chapter concludes by suggesting a few tricks of the trade and mentioning some key resources to the field of multi-objective optimization.
In evolutionary multiobjective optimization, maintaining a good balance between convergence and diversity is particularly crucial to the performance of the evolutionary algorithms (EAs). In addition, it becomes increasingly important to incorporate user preferences because it will be less likely to achieve a representative subset of the Pareto-optimal solutions using a limited population size as the number of objectives increases. This paper proposes a reference vector-guided EA for many-objective optimization. The reference vectors can be used not only to decompose the original multiobjective optimization problem into a number of single-objective subproblems, but also to elucidate user preferences to target a preferred subset of the whole Pareto front (PF). In the proposed algorithm, a scalarization approach, termed angle-penalized distance, is adopted to balance convergence and diversity of the solutions in the high-dimensional objective space. An adaptation strategy is proposed to dynamically adjust the distribution of the reference vectors according to the scales of the objective functions. Our experimental results on a variety of benchmark test problems show that the proposed algorithm is highly competitive in comparison with five state-of-the-art EAs for many-objective optimization. In addition, we show that reference vectors are effective and cost-efficient for preference articulation, which is particularly desirable for many-objective optimization. Furthermore, a reference vector regeneration strategy is proposed for handling irregular PFs. Finally, the proposed algorithm is extended for solving constrained many-objective optimization problems.