Engine Calibration With Surrogate-Assisted Bilevel Evolutionary Algorithm

Xunzhao YU, Yan WANG, Ling ZHU, Dimitar FILEV, Xin YAO

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Engine calibration problems are black-box optimization problems which are evaluation costly and most of them are constrained in the objective space. In these problems, decision variables may have different impacts on objectives and constraints, which could be detected by sensitivity analysis. Most existing surrogate-assisted evolutionary algorithms do not analyze variable sensitivity, thus, useless effort may be made on some less sensitive variables. This article proposes a surrogate-assisted bilevel evolutionary algorithm to solve a real-world engine calibration problem. Principal component analysis is performed to investigate the impact of variables on constraints and to divide decision variables into lower-level and upper-level variables. The lower-level aims at optimizing lower-level variables to make candidate solutions feasible, and the upper-level focuses on adjusting upper-level variables to optimize the objective. In addition, an ordinal-regression-based surrogate is adapted to estimate the ordinal landscape of solution feasibility. Computational studies on a gasoline engine model demonstrate that our algorithm is efficient in constraint handling and also achieves a smaller fuel consumption value than other state-of-the-art calibration methods. IEEE
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Bilevel architecture
  • Calibration
  • Computer architecture
  • constrained optimization
  • Constraint handling
  • engine calibration
  • Engines
  • Evolutionary computation
  • expensive optimization
  • Optimization
  • Petroleum
  • surrogate-assisted evolutionary algorithms (SAEAs)


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