This work introduces the symbiotic organisms search (SOS) evolutionary algorithm to the optimization of reservoir operation. Unlike the genetic algorithm (GA) and the water cycle algorithm (WCA) the SOS does not require specification of algorithmic parameters. The solution effectiveness of the GA, SOS, and WCA was assessed with a single-reservoir and a multi-reservoir optimization problem. The SOS proved superior to the GA and the WCA in optimizing the objective functions of the two reservoir systems. In the single reservoir problem, with global optimum value of 1.213, the SOS, GA, and WCA determined 1.240, 1.535, and 1.262 as the optimal solutions, respectively. The superiority of SOS was also verified in a hypothetical four-reservoir optimization problem. In this case, the GA, WCA, and SOS in their best performance among 10 solution runs converged to 97.46%, 99.56%, and 99.86% of the global optimal solution. Besides its better performance in approximating optima, the SOS avoided premature convergence and produced lower standard deviation about optima.

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