Multiple criteria rainfall-runoff model calibration using a parallel genetic algorithm in a cluster of computers

Chun Tian Cheng, Xin Y. Wu, Kwok Wing Chau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Genetic algorithms are among of the global optimization schemes that have gained popularity as a means to calibrate rainfall-runoff models. However, a conceptual rainfall-runoff model usually includes 10 or more parameters and these are interdependent, which makes the optimization procedure very time-consuming. This may result in the premature termination of the optimization process which will prejudice the quality of the results. Therefore, the speed of optimization procedure is crucial in order to improve the calibration quality and efficiency. A hybrid method that combines a parallel genetic algorithm with a fuzzy optimal model in a cluster of computers is proposed. The method uses the fuzzy optimal model to evaluate multiple alternatives with multiple criteria where chromosomes are the alternatives, whilst the criteria are flood performance measures. In order to easily distinguish the performance of different alternatives and to address the problem of non-uniqueness of optimum, two fuzzy ratios are defined. The new approach has been tested and compared with results obtained by using a two-stage calibration procedure. The current single procedure produces similar results, but is simpler and automatic. Comparison of results between the serial and parallel genetic algorithms showed that the current methodology can significantly reduce the overall optimization time and simultaneously improve the solution quality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1088
Number of pages20
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005


  • Calibration
  • Cluster
  • Fuzzy evaluation
  • Multiple criteria
  • Parallel genetic algorithms
  • Rainfall-runoff model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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