Copyright © 2012 Yanmin Liu and Ben Niu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
In order to solve the complicated multimodal problems, this paper presents a variant of particle swarm optimizer (PSO) based on the simulation of the human social communication behavior (HSCPSO). In HSCPSO, each particle initially joins a default number of social circles (SC) that consist of some particles, and its learning exemplars include three parts, namely, its own best experience, the experience of the best performing particle in all SCs, and the experiences of the particles of all SCs it is a member of. The learning strategy takes full advantage of the excellent information of each particle to improve the diversity of the swarm to discourage premature convergence. To weight the effects of the particles on the SCs, the worst performing particles will join more SCs to learn from other particles and the best performing particles will leave SCs to reduce their strong influence on other members. Additionally, to insure the effectiveness of solving multimodal problems, the novel parallel hybrid mutation is proposed to improve the particle’s ability to escape from the local optima. Experiments were conducted on a set of classical benchmark functions, and the results demonstrate the good performance of HSCPSO in escaping from the local optima and solving the complex multimodal problems compared with the other PSO variants.