Optimizing green design using ant colony-based approach

C. Y. Ng, S. S. Lam, Samuel P.M. Choi, Kris M.Y. Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: In response to the increasing concerns on the environmental conservation and energy saving, manufacturers are more aware of proving the ‘green’ performance of their products. Some qualitative eco design tools are used to support the development of greener products; however, most of these tools require subjective judgement during the evaluation processes. This paper is therefore to propose an alternative approach that is objective, systematic and efficient, by integrating the ant colony optimization (ACO) and life cycle assessment (LCA), to facilitate the decision-making process. Methods: The proposed integrative LCA-ACO approach aims to support the simultaneous thorough evaluations of multiple design options. A sequence of options of the lowest corresponding environmental impact value can be obtained. A case application example of various design combinations is presented to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed approach. Results and discussion: The proposed approach offers decision makers a preliminary fast-track approach for screening decisions without lengthy processes of LCA studies. This approach helps the decision makers, especially during the early design selection stages, identifying the most appropriate design combination from the environmental perspective. The proposed approach is proved a significant contribution to the field of LCA and green product design. Conclusions: Since full-scale LCA studies require significant effort in data collection processes and experts for result interpretations, it would be time consuming and costly to conduct a full-scale LCA during early product development processes. The proposed approach offers a more convenient way for decision makers to assess multiple design options regarding the environmental considerations. The case example presented in this paper proves the practicality of the proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-610
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Ant colony optimization
  • Clustering
  • Green product development
  • Life cycle assessment


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