Weighted bee colony algorithm for discrete optimization problems with application to feature selection

Alireza Moayedikia*, Richard Jensen, Uffe Kock Wiil, Rana Forsati

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The conventional bee colony optimization (BCO) algorithm, one of the recent swarm intelligence (SI) methods, is good at exploration whilst being weak at exploitation. In order to improve the exploitation power of BCO, in this paper we introduce a novel algorithm, dubbed as weighted BCO (wBCO), that allows the bees to search in the solution space deliberately while considering policies to share the attained information about the food sources heuristically. For this purpose, wBCO considers global and local weights for each food source, where the former is the rate of popularity of a given food source in the swarm and the latter is the relevancy of a food source to a category label. To preserve diversity in the population, we embedded new policies in the recruiter selection stage to ensure that uncommitted bees follow the most similar committed ones. Thus, the local food source weighting and recruiter selection strategies make the algorithm suitable for discrete optimization problems. To demonstrate the utility of wBCO, the feature selection (FS) problem is modeled as a discrete optimization task, and has been tackled by the proposed algorithm. The performance of wBCO and its effectiveness in dealing with feature selection problem are empirically evaluated on several standard benchmark optimization functions and datasets and compared to the state-of-the-art methods, exhibiting the superiority of wBCO over the competitor approaches. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalEngineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence
Early online date20 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2015


  • Bee colony optimization
  • Categorical optimization
  • Classification
  • Feature selection
  • Weighted bee colony optimization
  • SETS


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