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A. Afshar, S. Madadgar , M.r. Jalali, F. Sharifi ,
Volume 2, Issue 1 (3-2012)
Abstract

Ant colony optimization algorithms (ACOs) have been basically introduced to discrete variable problems and applied to different research domains in several engineering fields. Meanwhile, abundant studies have been already involved to adapt different ant models to continuous search spaces. Assessments indicate competitive performance of ACOs on discrete or continuous domains. Therefore, as potent optimization algorithms, it is encouraging to involve ant models to mixed-variable domains which simultaneously tackle discrete and continuous variables. This paper introduces four ant-based methods to solve mixed-variable problems. Each method is based upon superlative ant algorithms in discrete and/or continuous domains. Proposed methods’ performances are then tested on a set of three mathematical functions and also a water main design problem in engineering field, which are elaborately subject to linear and non-linear constraints. All proposed methods perform rather satisfactorily on considered problems and it is suggested to further extend the application of methods to other engineering studies.

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