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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 561394, 10 pages
Research Article

Three-Dimensional Path Planning Method for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Based on Modified Firefly Algorithm

College of Automation, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150001, China

Received 22 October 2014; Accepted 23 December 2014

Academic Editor: Xin-She Yang

Copyright © 2015 Chang Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Path planning is a classic optimization problem which can be solved by many optimization algorithms. The complexity of three-dimensional (3D) path planning for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) requires the optimization algorithm to have a quick convergence speed. This work provides a new 3D path planning method for AUV using a modified firefly algorithm. In order to solve the problem of slow convergence of the basic firefly algorithm, an improved method was proposed. In the modified firefly algorithm, the parameters of the algorithm and the random movement steps can be adjusted according to the operating process. At the same time, an autonomous flight strategy is introduced to avoid instances of invalid flight. An excluding operator was used to improve the effect of obstacle avoidance, and a contracting operator was used to enhance the convergence speed and the smoothness of the path. The performance of the modified firefly algorithm and the effectiveness of the 3D path planning method were proved through a varied set of experiments.