International Journal of Combinatorics
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 523806, 23 pages
Research Article

Application of the Firefly Algorithm for Solving the Economic Emissions Load Dispatch Problem

Department of Informatics, University of Piraeus, 80 Karaoli and Dimitriou Street, 18534 Piraeus, Greece

Received 30 August 2010; Accepted 14 November 2010

Academic Editor: Hajo Broersma

Copyright © 2011 Theofanis Apostolopoulos and Aristidis Vlachos. 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.


Efficient and reliable power production is necessary to meet both the profitability of power systems operations and the electricity demand, taking also into account the environmental concerns about the emissions produced by fossil-fuelled power plants. The economic emission load dispatch problem has been defined and applied in order to deal with the optimization of these two conflicting objectives, that is, the minimization of both fuel cost and emission of generating units. This paper introduces and describes a solution to this famous problem using a new metaheuristic nature-inspired algorithm, called firefly algorithm, which was developed by Dr. Xin-She Yang at Cambridge University in 2007. A general formulation of this algorithm is presented together with an analytical mathematical modeling to solve this problem by a single equivalent objective function. The results are compared with those obtained by alternative techniques proposed by the literature in order to show that it is capable of yielding good optimal solutions with proper selection of control parameters.