in: Applications of Cuckoo Search Algorithm and its Variants, Nilanjan Dey, Editor, Springer, London/Berlin , Singapore, pp.277-306, 2020
Having a wide range of applications in civil engineering practice, Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls (MSEWs) are regarded as efficient and reliable alternatives to the conventional retaining structure types. As is often the case in engineering, the performance and cost-effectiveness of these structures rely on robust design strategies, which must be proficient to yield optimal solutions in multimodal spaces. While the inherent characteristics of engineering problems often render the design a challenging task, metaheuristic algorithms are suitable options provided that problem-specific considerations and modifications are implemented. In this regard, Cuckoo Search (CS) and its variants are successful in many engineering applications. In the present study, CS is adopted to optimize the reinforcement type, length, and layout of MSEWs and a hybrid CS (HCSDE) variant based on Differential Evolution formulation is developed to further enhance the search capability of the algorithm. The proposed algorithm is applied to various MSEW design benchmarks and comparatively evaluated with respect to well-established methods such as Genetic Algorithm and Particle Swarm Optimization. The results of the study indicate that CS is competent for the problem and the capability of the algorithm can be further enhanced through the proposed adaptations in HCSDE. The improved solutions of HCSDE compared to the other optimization methods highlight the proposed formulation as a promising algorithm for practical implementations.