Skip to main content
Log in

An Electromagnetism-like Mechanism for Global Optimization

  • Published:
Journal of Global Optimization Aims and scope Submit manuscript


This paper proposes a new heuristic for global optimization. The method utilizes an attraction-repulsion mechanism to move the sample points towards the optimality. The proposed scheme can be used either as a stand-alone approach or as an accompanying procedure for other methods. Some test results on nonlinear test functions in the category of ``minor to moderate difficulty'' are included. The ease of implementation and flexibility of the heuristic show the potential of this new approach.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Boender, C. G. E., Kan, A. H. G. R. and Timmer G. T. (1985), A stochastic approach to global optimization, Computational Mathematical Programming (NATO ASI Series), F15: 291-308.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cowan, E. W. (1968), Basic Electromagnetism, Academic Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Demirhan, M., Özdamar, L., Helvacıoĝlu, L. and Birbil, Ş. İ. (1999), FRACTOP: A geometric partitioning metaheuristic for global optimization, Journal of Global Optimization 14: 415-435.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dixon, L. C. W. and G. P Szegö, (1978). The global optimization problem: An introduction. Towards Global Optimization 2, North-Holland, Amsterdam, pp. 1-15.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fletcher, R. and Reeves, C. (1964), Function minimization by conjugate directions, Computer Journal 7: 149-154.

    Google Scholar 

  • Glover, J. K. F. and Laguna, M. (1995), Genetic algorithms and tabu search: Hybrids for optimization. Computers and Operations Research 22: 111-134.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hart, W. E. (1994), Adaptive Global Optimization with Local Search. PhD Thesis, University of California, San Diego, 1994.

    Google Scholar 

  • Huyer, W. and Neumaier, A. (1999), Global optimization by multilevel coordinate search. Journal of Global Optimization 14: 331-355.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kan, A. H. G. R. and Timmer, G. T. (1987), Stochastic global optimization methods, Part I: Clustering methods, Mathematical Programming 39: 27-56.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kan, A. H. G. R. and Timmer, G. T. (1987), Stochastic global optimization methods Part II: Multi level methods, Mathematical Programming 39: 57-78.

    Google Scholar 

  • Michalewicz, Z. (1994), Genetic Algorithms + Data Structures = Evolution Programs, Springer, Berlin.

    Google Scholar 

  • More, B. J. and Wu, Z. (1995), Global Smoothing and Continuation for Large-scale Molecular Optimization. Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois: Preprint MCS-P539-1095.

    Google Scholar 

  • Neumaier, A. (2001), Global optimization web site. Computational mathematics group, University of Vienna,, Austria.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pinter, J. (1992), Convergence qualification of adaptive partitioning algorithms in global optimization, Mathematical Programming 56: 343-360.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schoen, F. (1989), A wide class of test functions for global optimization, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Genetic Algorithms, pp. 51-60.

  • Solis, F. J. and Wets, R. J-B. (1981), Minimization by random search techniques, Mathematics of Operations Research 6: 19-30.

    Google Scholar 

  • Törn, A., Ali, M. M. and Viitanen, S. (1999), Stochastic global optimization: Problem classes and solution techniques, Journal of Global Optimization 14: 437-447.

    Google Scholar 

  • Törn, A. and Viitanen, S. (1994), Topographical global optimization using pre-sampled points, Journal of Global Optimization 5: 267-276.

    Google Scholar 

  • Törn, A. and Žilinskas, A. (1989), Global Optimization, Springer, Berlin.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ş İlker Birbil.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Birbil, Ş.İ., Fang, SC. An Electromagnetism-like Mechanism for Global Optimization. Journal of Global Optimization 25, 263–282 (2003).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: