Simulated annealing with memory and directional search for ground water remediation design

Richard L. Skaggs, Larry Mays, Lance W. Vail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Review of recent literature indicates an emergence in the use of combinatorial methods such as simulated annealing in ground water management during the past nine to ten years. While previous studies demonstrated the feasibility of using these methods, a general finding was that computational processing requirements were inordinately high relative to gradient-based methods. An enhanced annealing algorithm was developed and used to demonstrate the potential for greatly improving the computational efficiency of simulated annealing as an optimization method for ground water management applications. The algorithm incorporates "directional search" and "memory" capabilities. Selecting search directions based on better understanding of the current neighborhood of the configuration space was shown to improve algorithm performance. Also, "memory" concepts derived from the Tabu Search Method show particular promise for improving the rate and quality of convergence. Performance of the enhanced annealing method was evaluated and the resultant management method was demonstrated using an example from the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-866
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Water Resources Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Ground water flow and contaminant transport
  • Ground water remediation
  • Optimization
  • Simulated annealing
  • Tabu search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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