Optimization of Complex Industrial Processes

Using Constrained Genetic Algorithms

Hamza Turabieh

Information Technology Department

Al-Balqa Applied University

Al-Salt,Jordan

H

turabieh@yahoo.com

Alaa Sheta

Information Technology Department

Al-Balqa Applied University

Al-Salt,Jordan

asheta2@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT

Tuning the parameters of complex industrial processes to provide an outstanding product with minimum

losses represents a challenge for optimization theory.Many algorithms were proposed in the past to handle

such type of optimization problems.In this paper we explore the use of Evolutionary Computation tech-

niques to handle such a problem.We focus on the use of Genetic Algorithms (GAs) in solving constrained

optimization problems for industrial processes.On doing this,we plan to explore the sensitivity of the

evolutionary process with respect to variations in the tuning parameters of the GAs (i.e.population size).

A careful tuning for the evolutionary process parameters lead to fast convergence to the optimal solutions.

Number of test cases and a reactor network design problem are solved.

Key Words

:Industrial Processes,Genetic Algorithms,Constrained Optimization

1 Introduction

Most industrial manufacturing processes involve

dynamic nonlinearity,uncertainty and constraints.

Currently there is a growing interest on using Evo-

lutionary Algorithms (EAs) to assist providing a

reasonable solution for physical nonlinear systems

in industry.EAs techniques are among those opti-

mization techniques which have been used to solve

a variety of optimization problems in industry.EA

include Genetic Algorithms (GAs) [1],Evolutionary

strategies (ESs) [2],Evolutionary Programming [3]

and Genetic Programming (GP) [4].In [5,6],Ge-

netic Algorithms and Evolutionary strategies have

been used in the parameter identiﬁcation process

of nonlinear systems with various degrees of com-

plexity.In [7],GAs have been successfully used

to provide an automatic methodology for gener-

ating model structure for nonlinear systems based

the Volterra time-series and least-square estimation

(LSE) was used to identify the model parameters.

Using this methodology an eﬃcient model structure

was built to model the dynamics of the automotive

engine.Modeling the dynamics of a winding ma-

chine in industry using genetic programming was

presented in [8].

For any optimization problem,there is an opti-

mization criterion (i.e.evaluation function) has to

be minimized or maximized.The evaluation func-

tion represents a measure of the quality of the de-

veloped solution.Searching the space of all possi-

ble solution is a challenging task.Additional con-

straints of the domain of search for the parameters

makes the problem quite diﬃcult.The constraints

might aﬀect the performance of the evolutionary

process since some of the produced solutions (i.e

individuals) may be unfeasible.Unfeasible solution

represents a wast of computation eﬀort.

Although there is no general methodology to

handle constraints several methods were introduced

[9,10,11].Evolutionary Strategies and Evolution-

ary Programming were modiﬁed to handle numer-

ical optimization problems with constraints simply

by rejecting unfeasible individuals.Genetic Algo-

rithms used an alternative approach that is penal-

izing the unfeasible individuals.Unfortunately is

there is no general adopted strategy to design the

penalty functions [9,10].In the following sections,

we will give an overview of GAs,formulate the con-

strained optimization problem using GAs and ﬁ-

nally provide number of case studies in industry.

2 Why Genetic Algorithms?

GAs are the most famous among EA algorithms.

GAs have been employed as a tool that can han-

dle multi-model function and complex search space.

They have the capability to search complex spaces

with high probability of success in ﬁnding the

points of minimumor maximumon the search space

(i.e.landscape).Genetic Algorithms (GAs) are

derivative-free stochastic search algorithms.

GAs apply the concept of natural selection.This

idea was ﬁrst introduced by John Holland at the

University of Michigan in 1975 [1].GAs have been

successful used in solving numerous applications in

engineering and computer science [12,13,14,15].

GAs gain a great popularity due to their known

attributes.These attributes include:

• GAs can handle both continuous and dis-

crete optimization problems.They require no

derivative information about the ﬁtness crite-

rion [16,17].

• GAs have the advantageous over other search

algorithm since it is less likely to be trapped

by local minimum.

• GAs provide a more optimal and global so-

lution.They are less likely to be trapped by

local optimal like Newton or gradient descent

methods [18,19].

• GAs have been shown to be less sensitive to

the presence of noise and uncertainty in mea-

surements [5,20].

• GAs use probabilistic operators (i.e.crossover

and mutation) not deterministic ones.

3 How GAs Code a Solution?

Genetic algorithms code the candidate solutions of

an optimization algorithm as a string of characters

which are usually binary digits [1].In accordance

with the terminology that is borrowed fromthe ﬁeld

of genetics,this bit string is usually called a chro-

mosome (i.e.individuals).

A number of chromosomes generate what is

called a population.The structure for each indi-

vidual can be represented as follows:

gene

1

gene

2

......

gene

n

11101

00101

......

11011

This a chromosome has number of genes equal to

n.These genes are used in the evaluation function

f.Thus,f(gene

1

,gene

2

,...,gene

n

) is the function

to be minimized or maximized.

4 Evolutionary Process

The evolutionary process of GAs start by the com-

putation of the ﬁtness of the each individual in the

initial population.While stopping criterion is not

yet reached we do the following:

• Select individual for reproduction using some

selection mechanisms (i.e.tournament,rank,

etc).

• Create an oﬀspring using crossover and mu-

tation operators.The probability of crossover

and mutation is selected based on the appli-

cation.

• Compute the new generation of GAs.This

process will end either when the optimal so-

lution is found or the maximum number of

generations is reached.

A ﬂowchart for a simple GA process is given [21]

in Figure 1.

4.1 Selection Mechanism

Selection is the process which guides the evolution-

ary algorithm to the optimal solution by preferring

chromosomes with high ﬁtness.The chromosomes

evolve through successive iterations,called genera-

tions.During each generation,the chromosomes are

evaluated,using some measure of ﬁtness.To cre-

ate the next generation,new chromosomes,called

4.4 Fitness Function

GA evaluates the individuals in the population us-

ing a selected ﬁtness function (criterion).This func-

tion indicates how good or bad a candidate solution

is.The way to select the ﬁtness function is a very

important issue in the design of genetic algorithms,

since the solution of the optimization problem and

the performance of the algorithm count mainly on

this function.

It is important to recognize that GAs is diﬀer-

ent from other optimization techniques like gradi-

ent descent,since they evaluate a set of solution

in the population at each generation,makes them

more likely to ﬁnd the optimum solution.

The ﬁtness of the individuals within the popula-

tion is evaluated,and new individuals are generated

for the next generation using a selection mechanism.

Although convergence to a global optimum is not

guaranteed in many cases,these population-based

approaches are much less likely to converge to lo-

cal optimal and are quite robust in the presence of

noise [16,17].

4.5 Genetic Algorithms Summary

Assume that Pop(k) and Oﬀspring(k) are the par-

ents and oﬀspring in current generation t;the gen-

eral structure of a genetic algorithm procedure can

be described by the simple C code.

begin

k=0;

initialize Pop(k);

evaluate Pop(k);

while (termination not reached) do

recombine Pop(k) to generate Oﬀspring(k);

evaluate Oﬀspring;

Select Pop(k + 1) from Pop(k) and

Oﬀspring(k);

k = k +1

end while

end

5 Optimization Problem

A constrained optimization problem can be pre-

sented as follows:

Optimize f(X) (1)

Subject to:

g

j

(X) ≤ 0,∀j = 1,...,q

h

j

(X) = 0,∀j = q +1,...,m

where X = (x

1

,...,x

n

) represents the array of sys-

tem variables.The search space S for the above

problemis split into two domains.They are the fea-

sible S

f

and the unfeasible space S

unf

.The func-

tion variables are deﬁned is a speciﬁc domain de-

ﬁned as:

l(i) ≤ x

i

≤ u(i),1 ≤ i ≤ n (2)

The feasible S

f

set is deﬁned by a number of addi-

tional m constraints (i.e.g

j

(X),h

j

(X)).

6 Constrained Handling

In [24],Michalewicz and Attia presented a method-

ology to deal with the unfeasible individual.This

methodology can be described in the following

steps:

• The problem constraints can be classiﬁed into

four types.There are linear equalities (LE),

linear inequalities (LI),nonlinear equalities

(NE),nonlinear inequalities (NI) constraints.

• A random start point is selected for the

search.This initial random point should sat-

isfy both LE and LI constraints.

• Set the initial temperature λ = λ

0

.

• Evaluate each individual in the population us-

ing the evaluation function eval.

eval(X,λ) = f(X) +

1

2λ

m

j=1

f

2

j

(X),(3)

• if λ < λ

f

stop,else

– decrease λ.

– use the best individual as an initial solu-

tion for the next generation.

– repeat the previous steps of the algo-

rithms.

This method requires an initial starting temper-

ature λ

0

and a ﬁnal freezing temperature λ

f

.A

recommended values are,reported in [24],λ

0

= 1,

λ

i+1

= 0.1 ×λ

i

with λ

f

= 10

−6

.

7 Constrained Optimization Software

Solving constrained optimization problem was ex-

plored by Michalewicz and others [9,25,10,24].

To develop our results we used the GENOCOP 5.0

software tool which was provided in [26,27].To run

the GENOCOP software we need to specify a set of

variables in an input ﬁle.These variables include

the number of variables,the number of equalities,

the number of inequalities,the domains speciﬁed

for each variable.We also specify the population

size and the total number of generations.

The proposed solution of the constrained opti-

mization problem was compared with the Sequen-

tial Quadratic Programming (SQP) [28] solution.

We used the Optimization Toolbox with Matlab

to develop a solution for the cases under study based

SQP.The sequential quadratic programming (SQP)

algorithm is a powerful technique for solving non-

linear constrained optimization problems [29].

SQP allows you to closely mimic Newton’s

method for constrained optimization just as is done

for unconstrained optimization.At each major it-

eration,an approximation is made of the Hessian of

the Lagrangian function using a quasi-Newton up-

dating method.This is then used to generate a QP

subproblem whose solution is used to form a search

direction for a line search procedure [30,31].

8 Test Problem 1

A nonlinear constrained optimization problem de-

scribed in [32] and extensively discussed in [33,34,

11,35] is presented in this section.

Min φ(x,y) = 2x +y (4)

Subject to:

1.25 −x

2

−y ≤ 0

x +y ≤ 1.6

Given that 0 ≤ x ≤ 1.6 and y ∈ {0,1}.To optimize

the above function,we generated the problem sur-

face (i.e.landscape) deﬁned within the given search

space.The landscape is shown in Figure 4.To

check the performance of the evolutionary process

we changed the population size number of time.

Our goal is to do some sensitivity analysis to

show that GAs will converge every time we change

Table 1

Solution provide by GAs and SQP:Case 1

x

y

φ(x,y)

Technique

0.5

1

2

GAs

0.5

1

2

SQP

the population size.In Figure 5,we show the con-

vergence of the evolutionary process with various

population size.It can be seen that with various

population size the optimal value of the function

reached the acceptable level.

A comparison between the developed results us-

ing the constrained GAs and Matlab Optimization

Toolbox is provided in Table 1.The results show

that GAs can provide the same results as the SQP

technique.This means that both techniques are ef-

fective in this case.

9 Test Problem 2

This problem was presented in [36] and was studied

in [11,35,25].

Min φ(x

1

,x

2

,y) = −y +2x

1

+x

2

(5)

Subject to:

x

1

−2e

−x

2

= 0

−x

1

+x

2

+y ≤ 0

Given that 0.5 ≤ x

1

≤ 1.4 and y ∈ {0,1}.

The above problem can be formulated to eliminate

equality constraints as shown in Equation 6.

Min φ(x

1

,y) = −y +2x

1

−ln(

x

1

2

) (6)

Subject to:

−x

1

−ln(

x

1

2

) +y ≤ 0,y ∈ {0,1}

In this section,we explore the issue of selecting

the optimal tuning parameters for the second test

case using genetic algorithms with constraints.The

problem landscape is presented in Figure 6.The

landscape seems not very complex but the domain

of search space for each model parameters repre-

sents a challenge since we are having nonlinear con-

straints.

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1

0

0.5

1

1.5

2

2.5

3

x

Search Space

y

function value

Fig.4.Search space of Test Problem 1

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

2

2.05

2.1

2.15

2.2

2.25

2.3

2.35

2.4

Generation

Fitness

Best so far curves with various population sizes

population size= 30

population size= 40

population size= 50

population size= 60

population size= 80

population size= 100

Fig.5.Test Problem 1:Convergence of the evolutionary process with various population sizes

0.4

0.6

0.8

1

1.2

1.

4

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1

1

1.5

2

2.5

3

3.5

x

1

Search Space

y

function value

Fig.6.Search space of Test Problem 2

5

10

15

20

25

2.15

2.2

2.25

2.3

2.35

2.4

Generation

Fitness

Best so far curves with various population sizes

population size= 30

population size= 40

population size= 50

population size= 60

population size= 80

population size= 100

Fig.7.Test Problem 2:Convergence of the evolutionary process with various population sizes

Table 2

Solution provide by GAs and SQP:Case 2

x

1

x

2

φ(x

1

,x

2

)

Technique

1.375

1

2.124

GAs

1.3748

1

2.12452

SQP

In Figure 7,we show the best so far curves of

the GAs with various population sizes.In Table 2,

the GAs provided a slightly better results than the

SQP technique.

10 Reactor Network Design Problem

The reactor network consist of two CSTR reactors

where the a sequence of reaction A,B,then C takes

place.The design problem objective is to maximize

the concentration of product B in the exit stream.

This can be achieved by ﬁnding the optimal value

of the states x

1

,x

2

,x

3

,x

4

,x

5

and x

6

.The optimiza-

tion problem can be represented mathematically as

given in Equation 7.The problem under study was

fully described in [34].

Min φ = −x

4

(7)

Subject to:

x

1

+k

1

x

2

x

5

= 1

x

2

−x

1

+k

2

x

2

x

6

= 0

x

3

+x

1

+k

3

x

3

x

5

= 1

x

4

−x

3

+x

2

−x

1

+k

4

x

4

x

6

= 0

x

0.5

5

+x

0.5

6

≤ 4

The domain of search for the states x

1

,x

2

,x

3

,x

4

,x

5

and x

6

are given as follows.0 ≤ x

1

≤ 1,0 ≤ x

2

≤ 1,

0 ≤ x

3

≤ 1,0 ≤ x

4

≤ 1,10

−5

≤ x

5

≤ 16,10

−5

≤

x

6

≤ 16.The values of the coeﬃcient k

1

,k

2

,k

3

and

k

4

are given as:

k

1

= 0.09755988

k

2

= 0.99k

1

k

3

= 0.0391908

k

4

= 0.9k

3

To deal with the above problem,we decide to trans-

fer the problemto a maximization problemby elim-

inating the equality constraints.The new math-

ematical description can be given as in Equation

Table 3

Solution provide by GAs and SQP:Reactor

Network Problem

x

5

x

6

φ(x

5

,x

6

)

Technique

3.038

5.096

0.3881

GAs

15.975

1e-005

0.3746

SQP

8.with the boundary values of x

5

and x

6

are

10

−5

≤ x

5

≤ 16,10

−5

≤ x

6

≤ 16.

Max φ =

k

2

x

6

(1 +k

3

) +k

1

(1 +k

2

x

6

)

(1 +k

1

x

5

)(1 +k

2

x

6

)(1 +k

3

x

5

)(1 +k

4

x

6

)

(8)

Subject to:

x

0.5

5

+x

0.5

6

≤ 4

We ran GA with population sizes 30,40,50,60,80

and 100 and computed the best solution after each

generation.The landscape for the network design

problem is shown in Figure 8.The results of each

run is shown in Figure 9.In Figure 10,we show

the network design problemstructure.To maximize

the function φ(x

5

,x

6

),we used both GAs and SQP.

In this case,GAs outperform SQP in providing a

better maximum to the function φ(x

5

,x

6

).This is

shown in Table 3.

11 Conclusions

In this paper,we used Genetic Algorithms (GAs) to

solve constrained optimization problems for number

of processes.We explored the performance of the

evolutionary process under variations in the popu-

lation size.The results show that GAs are robust

and can provide optimal solution after each run.

A practical example of an industrial process,the

reactor network design problem,was studied with

promising results.

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5

10

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2

0

0

5

10

15

20

0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

x

6

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function value

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population size= 100

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