Skip to Main Content
This paper presents a novel boundary approach that is included as a constraint-handling technique in an algorithm inspired by the ant colony metaphor. The necessity of approaching the boundary between the feasible and infeasible search space for many constrained optimization problems is a paramount challenge for every constraint-handling technique. Our proposed technique precisely focuses the search on the boundary region and can be either used alone or in combination with other constraint-handling techniques depending on the type and number of problem constraints. For validation purposes, an algorithm inspired by the ant colony metaphor is adopted as our search engine that works following one of the principles of the ant colony approach, i.e., a population of agents iteratively, cooperatively, and independently search for a solution. Each ant in the distributed algorithm applies a simple mutation-like operator, which explores the neighborhood region of a particular point in the search space (individual search level). The operator is designed for exploring the boundary between the feasible and infeasible search space. In addition, each ant obtains global information from the colony in order to exploit the most promising regions of the search space (cooperation level). We compare our proposed approach with respect to a well-known constraint-handling technique that is representative of the state-of-the-art in the area, using a set of standard test functions.