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On testing global optimization algorithms for space trajectory design

Vasile, Massimiliano and Minisci, Edmondo and Locatelli, Marco (2008) On testing global optimization algorithms for space trajectory design. In: AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2008, 2008-08-18 - 2008-08-21.

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In this paper we discuss the procedures to test a global search algorithm applied to a space trajectory design problem. Then, we present some performance indexes that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of global optimization algorithms. The performance indexes are then compared highlighting the actual significance of each one of them. A number of global optimization algorithms are tested on four typical space trajectory design problems. From the results of the proposed testing procedure we infer for each pair algorithm-problem the relation between the heuristics implemented in the solution algorithm and the main characteristics of the problem under investigation. From this analysis we derive a novel interpretation of some evolutionary heuristics, based on dynamical system theory and we significantly improve the performance of one of the tested algorithms.