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A modified particle swarm optimization algorithm for optimal allocation of earthquake emergency shelters

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Allocation for earthquake emergency shelters is a complicated geographic optimization problem because it involves multiple sites, strict constraints, and discrete feasible domain. Huge solution space makes the problem computationally intractable. Traditional brute-force methods can obtain exact optimal solutions. However, it is not sophisticated enough to solve the complex optimization problem with reasonable time especially in high-dimensional solution space. Artificial intelligent algorithms hold the promise of improving the effectiveness of location search. This article proposes a modified particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm to deal with the allocation problem of earthquake emergency shelter. A new discrete PSO and the feasibility-based rule are incorporated according to the discrete solution space and strict constraints. In addition, for enhancing search capability, simulated annealing (SA) algorithm is employed to escape from local optima. The modified algorithm has been applied to the allocation of earthquake emergency shelters in the Zhuguang Block of Guangzhou City, China. The experiments have shown that the algorithm can identify the number and locations of emergency shelters. The modified PSO algorithm shows a better performance than other hybrid algorithms presented in the article, and is an effective approach for the allocation problem of earthquake emergency shelters.
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Keywords: constraint handling method; discrete particle swarm optimization; earthquake emergency shelters; optimal allocation; simulated annealing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology,Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China 2: Department of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Engineering,Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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