Improving multi-objective reservoir operation optimization with sensitivity-informed dimension reduction
Abstract. This study investigates the effectiveness of a sensitivity-informed method for multi-objective operation of reservoir systems, which uses global sensitivity analysis as a screening tool to reduce computational demands. Sobol's method is used to screen insensitive decision variables and guide the formulation of the optimization problems with a significantly reduced number of decision variables. This sensitivity-informed method dramatically reduces the computational demands required for attaining high-quality approximations of optimal trade-off relationships between conflicting design objectives. The search results obtained from the reduced complexity multi-objective reservoir operation problems are then used to pre-condition the full search of the original optimization problem. In two case studies, the Dahuofang reservoir and the inter-basin multi-reservoir system in Liaoning province, China, sensitivity analysis results show that reservoir performance is strongly controlled by a small proportion of decision variables. Sensitivity-informed dimension reduction and pre-conditioning are evaluated in their ability to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of multi-objective evolutionary optimization. Overall, this study illustrates the efficiency and effectiveness of the sensitivity-informed method and the use of global sensitivity analysis to inform dimension reduction of optimization problems when solving complex multi-objective reservoir operation problems.