An enhanced multi-operator differential evolution algorithm for tackling knapsack optimization problem

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The knapsack problem (KP) is a discrete combinatorial optimization problem that has different utilities in many fields. It is described as a non-polynomial time (NP) problem and has several applications in many fields. The differential evolution (DE) algorithm has been successful in solving continuous optimization problems, but it needs further work to solve discrete and binary optimization problems and avoid local optima. According to the literature, no DE search operator or algorithm is optimal for all optimization tasks. As a result, using more than one search operator in a single algorithm architecture, called multi-operator-based algorithms, is a solution to address this problem. These methods outperformed single-based methods for continuous optimization problems. Thus, in this paper, a binary multi-operator differential evolution (BMODE) approach is presented to tackle the 0–1 KP. The presented methodology utilizes multiple differential evolution (DE) mutation strategies with complementary characteristics, with the best mutation operator being asserted utilizing the produced solutions’ quality and the population’s diversity. In BMODE, two types of transfer functions (TFs) (S-shaped and V-shaped) are used to transfer the continuous solutions to binary ones to be able to calculate the fitness function value. To handle the capacity constraints, a feasibility rule is utilized and some of the infeasible solutions are repaired. The performance of BMODE is tested by solving 40 instances with multiple dimensions, i.e., low, medium, and high. Experimental results of the proposed BMODE are compared with well-known state-of-the-art 0–1 knapsack algorithms. Based on Wilcoxon’s nonparametric statistical test (α= 0.05), the proposed BMODE can obtain the best results against the rival algorithms in most cases, and can work well on stability and computational accuracy.




Sallam, K. M., Abohany, A. A., & Rizk-Allahi, R. M. (2023). An enhanced multi-operator differential evolution algorithm for tackling knapsack optimization problem. Neural Computing and Applications, 35(18), 13359–13386.

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