Improved Binary Grey Wolf Optimizer and its application for feature selection

Pei Hu, Jeng-Shyang Pan, Shu-Chuan Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

278 Citations (Scopus)


Grey Wolf Optimizer (GWO) is a new swarm intelligence algorithm mimicking the behaviours of grey wolves. Its abilities include fast convergence, simplicity and easy realization. It has been proved its superior performance and widely used to optimize the continuous applications, such as, cluster analysis, engineering problem, training neural network and etc. However, there are still some binary problems to optimize in the real world. Since binary can only be taken from values of 0 or 1, the standard GWO is not suitable for the problems of discretization. Binary Grey Wolf Optimizer (BGWO) extends the application of the GWO algorithm and is applied to binary optimization issues. In the position updating equations of BGWO, the a parameter controls the values of A and D, and influences algorithmic exploration and exploitation. This paper analyses the range of values of AD under binary condition and proposes a new updating equation for the a parameter to balance the abilities of global search and local search. Transfer function is an important part of BGWO, which is essential for mapping the continuous value to binary one. This paper includes five transfer functions and focuses on improving their solution quality. Through verifying the benchmark functions, the advanced binary GWO is superior to the original BGWO in the optimality, time consumption and convergence speed. It successfully implements feature selection in the UCI datasets and acquires low classification errors with few features.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105746
Number of pages14
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Early online date9 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2020


  • Grey Wolf Optimizer
  • Discrete
  • Binary
  • Transfer function
  • Feature selection


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