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Differential Evolution as an Optimization Method for the Thomson Problem

Differential Evolution as an Optimization Method for the Thomson Problem

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Fergal Stapleton. Originally submitted for Applied Physics , with lecturer Dr. Tony Cafolla in the category of Computer Sciences & Information Technology
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Fergal Stapleton. Originally submitted for Applied Physics , with lecturer Dr. Tony Cafolla in the category of Computer Sciences & Information Technology

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 30, 2012
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10/27/2013

 
Final Year Project ReportDifferential Evolution as anOptimization Method for theThomson Problem
Date:
23
rd
April 2012
 
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to employ Differential Evolution as an optimiza-tion method for finding solutions to Thomson’s problem utilizing MATLAB,a computing platform for implementation of this genetic algorithm. Solu-tions were compared to previously suggested global minima for N chargesand these solutions were in good accordance with published results for upto N = 80, with percentage differences on the order of 0 - 0.2% for singleMutation Strategies. With further enhancement, and the use of multipleMutation Strategies during run time, percentages as low as 0 - 0.003% for upto N = 60 were observed. Several studies were observed on charge configu-rations exposed to different potential functions, charge fixing, and sphericalcompression. In addition a self-adaptive control parameter was implementedto help reduce superconvergence to local minima. Motivations for furtherstudy have also been discussed.
 
Contents
1 Introduction 32 Optimization Methods 5
2.1 Random Walks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52.2 Steepest Descent Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82.3 Simulated Annealing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82.4 Genetic Algorithms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3 Theory of the Dierential Evolution algorithm 11
3.1 Initialization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113.2 Mutation Algorithm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143.3 Crossover Algorithm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183.4 Selection Algorithm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203.5 Control Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223.5.1 Weighting Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223.5.2 Self-Adaptive Weighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
4 Results 24
4.1 Comparison with Previous Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254.2 Comparison of Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304.3 Study of Charge Congurations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 364.4 Self Adaptive Weighting versus Manual Weighting . . . . . . . 434.5 Effects of Program Parameters on Convergence and Run time 464.6 Study of Compressed Spheres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 504.7 Non-Coloumbic potentials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 534.7.1 Squared and Cubed potentials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 534.7.2 Lennard-Jones Potential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 554.8 Limitations and Further Error Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
5 Conclusions 59
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