Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 545–566 | Cite as

Structural design using multi-objective metaheuristics. Comparative study and application to a real-world problem

  • Gustavo Zavala
  • Antonio J. NebroEmail author
  • Francisco Luna
  • Carlos A. Coello Coello


Many structural design problems in the field of civil engineering are naturally multi-criteria, i.e., they have several conflicting objectives that have to be optimized simultaneously. An example is when we aim to reduce the weight of a structure while enhancing its robustness. There is no a single solution to these types of problems, but rather a set of designs representing trade-offs among the conflicting objectives. This paper focuses on the application of multi-objective metaheuristics to solve two variants of a real-world structural design problem. The goal is to compare a representative set of state-of-the-art multi-objective metaheuristic algorithms aiming to provide civil engineers with hints as to what optimization techniques to use when facing similar problems as those selected in the study presented in this paper. Accordingly, our study reveals that MOCell, a cellular genetic algorithm, provides the best overall performance, while NSGA-II, the de facto standard multi-objective metaheuristic technique, also demonstrates a competitive behavior.


Multi-objective optimization Metaheuristics Structural optimization Real-world problems 



This work is partially funded by Grants TIN2014-58304-R (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación) and P11-TIC-7529 and P12-TIC-1519 (Plan Andaluz de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación). Francisco Luna acknowledges support from Gobierno de Extremadura and FEDER under contract IB13113. The last author gratefully acknowledges support from CONACyT project no. 221551.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gustavo Zavala
    • 1
  • Antonio J. Nebro
    • 2
    Email author
  • Francisco Luna
    • 3
  • Carlos A. Coello Coello
    • 4
  1. 1.Khaos Research GroupUniversity of MálagaMálagaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Lenguajes y Ciencias de la Computación, Edificio de Investigación Ada ByronUniversidad de MálagaMálagaSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de Sistemas Informáticos y TelemáticosCentro Universitario de Mérida, Universidad de ExtremaduraMeridaSpain
  4. 4.CINVESTAV-IPN, Departamento de ComputaciónMéxico CityMéxico

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