Evolutionary Strategies for Engineered Systems

On September 16, 2016, the Logistics and Distribution Institute was pleased to host a seminar on Evolutionary Strategies for the Design of Engineered Systems.  Our speaker was Alice Smith, the Joe W. Forehand/Accenture Distinguished Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Auburn University.

Abstract: This seminar discusses the potential advantages of using one of the most venerable, but currently underutilized, evolutionary computation paradigms, that of Evolutionary Strategies (ES).  Developed some 50 years ago with the aim of improving engineering design, this paradigm has often been overlooked in favor of the more popular paradigms of genetic algorithms, ant colony optimization, particle swarm optimization and others.  However, ES is an appealing combination of simplicity and effectiveness, especially for real valued variables.  This talk will discuss the motivations of and experiences with using ES for three diverse domains in engineering design – aircraft airfoil design, optimal configurations for order picking warehouses, and design of resilient ad hoc wireless communications networks.  These applications integrate the ES with other computational methods including simulation to form comprehensive and pragmatic design tools.  The “Old School” paradigm of ES has much to offer contemporary users of meta-heuristics and deserves a higher profile within the computational intelligence community.

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