The power to solve intractable optimisation problems is often found through population based evolutionary methods. These include, but are not limited to, genetic algorithms, particle swarm optimisation, differential evolution and ant colony optimisation. While showing much promise as an effective optimiser, extremal optimisation uses only a single solution in its canonical form – and there are no standard population mechanics. In this paper, two population models for extremal optimisation are proposed and applied to a multi-objective version of the generalised assignment problem. These models use novel intervention/ interaction strategies as well as collective memory in order to allow individual population members to work together. Additionally, a general non-dominated local search algorithm is developed and tested. Overall, the results show that improved attainment surfaces can be produced using population based interactions over not using them. The new EO approach is also shown to be highly competitive with an implementation of NSGA-II.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/marcus_randall/51/