Soft Computing

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 469–495 | Cite as

A cooperative group optimization system

  • Xiao-Feng XieEmail author
  • Jiming Liu
  • Zun-Jing Wang
Methodologies and Application


A cooperative group optimization (CGO) system is presented to implement CGO cases by integrating the advantages of the cooperative group and low-level algorithm portfolio design. Following the nature-inspired paradigm of a cooperative group, the agents not only explore in a parallel way with their individual memory, but also cooperate with their peers through the group memory. Each agent holds a portfolio of (heterogeneous) embedded search heuristics (ESHs), in which each ESH can drive the group into a stand-alone CGO case, and hybrid CGO cases in an algorithmic space can be defined by low-level cooperative search among a portfolio of ESHs through customized memory sharing. The optimization process might also be facilitated by a passive group leader through encoding knowledge in the search landscape. Based on a concrete framework, CGO cases are defined by a script assembling over instances of algorithmic components in a toolbox. A multilayer design of the script, with the support of the inherent updatable graph in the memory protocol, enables a simple way to address the challenge of accumulating heterogeneous ESHs and defining customized portfolios without any additional code. The CGO system is implemented for solving the constrained optimization problem with some generic components and only a few domain-specific components. Guided by the insights from algorithm portfolio design, customized CGO cases based on basic search operators can achieve competitive performance over existing algorithms as compared on a set of commonly-used benchmark instances. This work might provide a basic step toward a user-oriented development framework, since the algorithmic space might be easily evolved by accumulating competent ESHs.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Robotics InstituteCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceHong Kong Baptist UniversityKowloon TongHong Kong
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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