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Visualizing Mutually Nondominating Solution Sets in Many-Objective Optimization

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3 Author(s)
Walker, D.J. ; Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, U.K. ; Everson, R.M. ; Fieldsend, J.E.

As many-objective optimization algorithms mature, the problem owner is faced with visualizing and understanding a set of mutually nondominating solutions in a high dimensional space. We review existing methods and present new techniques to address this problem. We address a common problem with the well-known heatmap visualization, since the often arbitrary ordering of rows and columns renders the heatmap unclear, by using spectral seriation to rearrange the solutions and objectives and thus enhance the clarity of the heatmap. A multiobjective evolutionary optimizer is used to further enhance the simultaneous visualization of solutions in objective and parameter space. Two methods for visualizing multiobjective solutions in the plane are introduced. First, we use RadViz and exploit interpretations of barycentric coordinates for convex polygons and simplices to map a mutually nondominating set to the interior of a regular convex polygon in the plane, providing an intuitive representation of the solutions and objectives. Second, we introduce a new measure of the similarity of solutions—the dominance distance—which captures the order relations between solutions. This metric provides an embedding in Euclidean space, which is shown to yield coherent visualizations in two dimensions. The methods are illustrated on standard test problems and data from a benchmark many-objective problem.

Published in:

Evolutionary Computation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

April 2013

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