Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), 424 Hafez Ave, Tehran, Iran
Centre of Excellence for Fundamental Studies in Structural Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Narmak, P.O. Box 16846-13114, Iran
In this study, a new hybrid method based on Firefly Algorithm (FA) and Harmony Search (HS) techniques, is presented for solving the least-cost design problem of water distribution systems (WDS). This algorithm is designed to improve the performance of the FA as a recently developed meta-heuristic that mimics the natural behaviour of fireflies. The use of such a nature–inspired optimization method to solve the optimal design problem of WDS needs particular modifications to produce high quality solutions. Therefore, a modification is proposed to the movement stage of artificial fireflies and based on the HS strategy a memory is utilized to save a number of the best solutions. Another improvement in this algorithm contains the addition of pitch adjustment operation in the FA as a mutation operator.The presented method is applied to optimal design of some well-known benchmark problems taken from literature, and the results confirm its validity. In addition, a sensitivity analysis is performed on the parameters of the algorithm.