A controlled migration genetic algorithm operator for hardware-in-the-loop experimentation

Lotus free-piston experimental engine

A controlled migration genetic algorithm operator for hardware-in-the-loop experimentation

D. Gladwina, P. Stewartb, , and J. Stewartb

a Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Mappin St. Sheffield S1 3JD, UK

b School of Engineering, University of Lincoln, Lincoln LN6 7TS, UK

Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence
Volume 24, Issue 4, June 2011, Pages 586-594



In this paper, we describe the development of an extended migration operator, which combats the negative effects of noise on the effective search capabilities of genetic algorithms. The research is motivated by the need to minimise the number of evaluations during hardware-in-the-loop experimentation, which can carry a significant cost penalty in terms of time or financial expense. The authors build on previous research, where convergence for search methods such as simulated annealing and variable neighbourhood search was accelerated by the implementation of an adaptive decision support operator. This methodology was found to be effective in searching noisy data surfaces. Providing that noise is not too significant, genetic algorithms can prove even more effective guiding experimentation. It will be shown that with the introduction of a controlled migration operator into the GA heuristic, data, which represents a significant signal-to-noise ratio, can be searched with significant beneficial effects on the efficiency of hardware-in-the-loop experimentation, without a priori parameter tuning. The method is tested on an engine-in-the-loop experimental example, and shown to bring significant performance benefits.

Keywords: Genetic algorithms; Hardware-in-the-loop; Migration; Response surfaces; Engines