Optimal computing budget allocation for particle swarm optimization in stochastic optimization

Si Zhang, Jie Xu, Loo Hay Lee, Ek Peng Chew, Wai Peng Wong, Chun-Hung Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Particle swarm optimization (PSO) is a popular metaheuristic for deterministic optimization. Originated in the interpretations of the movement of individuals in a bird flock or fish school, PSO introduces the concept of personal best and global best to simulate the pattern of searching for food by flocking and successfully translate the natural phenomena to the optimization of complex functions. Many real-life applications of PSO cope with stochastic problems. To solve a stochastic problem using PSO, a straightforward approach is to equally allocate computational effort among all particles and obtain the same number of samples of fitness values. This is not an efficient use of computational budget and leaves considerable room for improvement. This paper proposes a seamless integration of the concept of optimal computing budget allocation into PSO to improve the computational efficiency of PSO for stochastic optimization problems. We derive an asymptotically optimal allocation rule to intelligently determine the number of samples for all particles such that the PSO algorithm can efficiently select the personal best and global best when there is stochastic estimation noise in fitness values. We also propose an easy-to-implement sequential procedure. Numerical tests show that our new approach can obtain much better results using the same amount of computational effort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-219
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational efficiency
  • metaheuristics
  • particle swarm optimization (PSO)
  • ranking and selection (R&S)

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