Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Raymond Hill (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSEgr)


Real-world complex optimization problems are difficult to solve. Agent-based optimization approaches have proved useful in solving a wide variety of problems including optimization problems. Agent-based techniques can be used in military planning for solving allocation problems such as the weapons to targets assignment problem. Classical methods like linear programming (LP) have been used for solving weapons to targets assignment problems. LP approaches provide optimal solutions quickly, but in real-time planning when there are minor changes to input, LP exhibits widely varied solutions. This can be a problem in practice. This research study considers two agent-based optimization approaches, the Stable Marriage Algorithm (SMA) and the Ant-Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm, for solving the weapons to targets assignment problem. In real-time defense planning and re-planning scenario, the effect of the input data changes on the solutions provided by SMA and ACO is observed. An interactive tool is developed in Visual Basic 6.0 for performing the assignment of weapons to targets using either of the agent-based optimization algorithms. An empirical analysis for determining the best parameter settings for finding good solutions for ACO algorithm is carried out. The performance of SMA and ACO is compared in terms of solution quality and persistence characteristics. Results indicate better performance of SMA than ACO in terms of persistence. In terms of solution quality, ACO provides solutions with lower assignment cost values than SMA.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Biomedical, Industrial & Human Factors Engineering

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Engineering Commons