This study proposes variable balancing approaches for the exploration (diversification) and exploitation (intensification) of the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm-II (NSGA-II) with simulated binary crossover (SBX) and polynomial mutation (PM) in the multiobjective automatic parameter calibration of a lumped hydrological model, the HYMOD model. Two objectives—minimizing the percent bias and minimizing three peak flow differences—are considered in the calibration of the six parameters of the model. The proposed balancing approaches, which migrate the focus between exploration and exploitation over generations by varying the crossover and mutation distribution indices of SBX and PM, respectively, are compared with traditional static balancing approaches (the two dices value is fixed during optimization) in a benchmark hydrological calibration problem for the Leaf River (1950 km2
) near Collins, Mississippi. Three performance metrics—solution quality, spacing, and convergence—are used to quantify and compare the quality of the Pareto solutions obtained by the two different balancing approaches. The variable balancing approaches that migrate the focus of exploration and exploitation differently for SBX and PM outperformed other methods.
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