A new metaheuristic inspired by the vapour-liquid equilibrium for continuous optimization

Enrique M. Cortés-Toro, Broderick Crawford, Juan A. Gómez-Pulido, Ricardo Soto, José M. Lanza-Gutiérrez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In this article, a novel optimization metaheuristic based on the vapour-liquid equilibrium is described to solve highly nonlinear optimization problems in continuous domains. During the search for the optimum, the procedure truly simulates the vapour-liquid equilibrium state of multiple binary chemical systems. Each decision variable of the optimization problem behaves as the molar fraction of the lightest component of a binary chemical system. The equilibrium state of each system is modified several times, independently and gradually, in two opposite directions and at different rates. The best thermodynamic conditions of equilibrium for each system are searched and evaluated to identify the following step towards the solution of the optimization problem. While the search is carried out, the algorithm randomly accepts inadequate solutions. This process is done in a controlled way by setting a minimum acceptance probability to restart the exploration in other areas to prevent becoming trapped in local optimal solutions. Moreover, the range of each decision variable is reduced autonomously during the search. The algorithm reaches competitive results with those obtained by other stochastic algorithms when testing several benchmark functions, which allows us to conclude that our metaheuristic is a promising alternative in the optimization field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2080
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number11
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2018


  • Local search
  • Metaheuristics
  • Optimization
  • Optimization algorithms


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