An enhanced associative learning-based exploratory whale optimizer for global optimization

Ali Asghar Heidari, Ibrahim Aljarah, Hossam Faris, Huiling Chen, Jie Luo, Seyedali Mirjalili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


Whale optimization algorithm (WOA) is a recent nature-inspired metaheuristic that mimics the cooperative life of humpback whales and their spiral-shaped hunting mechanism. In this research, it is first argued that the exploitation tendency of WOA is limited and can be considered as one of the main drawbacks of this algorithm. In order to mitigate the problems of immature convergence and stagnation problems, the exploitative and exploratory capabilities of modified WOA in conjunction with a learning mechanism are improved. In this regard, the proposed WOA with associative learning approaches is combined with a recent variant of hill climbing local search to further enhance the exploitation process. The improved algorithm is then employed to tackle a wide range of numerical optimization problems. The results are compared with different well-known and novel techniques on multi-dimensional classic problems and new CEC 2017 test suite. The extensive experiments and statistical tests show the superiority of the proposed BMWOA compared to WOA and several well-established algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeural Computing and Applications
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Metaheuristic
  • Nature-inspired computing
  • Optimization
  • Swarm intelligence


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