Clustering-based binarization methods applied to the crow search algorithm for 0/1 combinatorial problems

Sergio Valdivia, Ricardo Soto, Broderick Crawford, Nicolás Caselli, Fernando Paredes, Carlos Castro, Rodrigo Olivares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Metaheuristics are smart problem solvers devoted to tackling particularly large optimization problems. During the last 20 years, they have largely been used to solve different problems from the academic as well as from the real-world. However, most of them have originally been designed for operating over real domain variables, being necessary to tailor its internal core, for instance, to be effective in a binary space of solutions. Various works have demonstrated that this internal modification, known as binarization, is not a simple task, since the several existing binarization ways may lead to very different results. This of course forces the user to implement and analyze a large list of binarization schemas for reaching good results. In this paper, we explore two efficient clustering methods, namely KMeans and DBscan to alter a metaheuristic in order to improve it, and thus do not require on the knowledge of an expert user for identifying which binarization strategy works better during the run. Both techniques have widely been applied to solve clustering problems, allowing us to exploit useful information gathered during the search to efficiently control and improve the binarization process. We integrate those techniques to a recent metaheuristic called Crow Search, and we conduct experiments where KMeans and DBscan are contrasted to 32 different binarization methods. The results show that the proposed approaches outperform most of the binarization strategies for a large list of well-known optimization instances.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1070
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Binary domains
  • Bio-inspired computing
  • Clustering techniques
  • Crow search algorithm
  • Metaheuristics


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