This paper proposes an improvement to the whale optimization algorithm (WOA), which is based on the Levy flight technique. The improvement allows improved whale optimization algorithm (IWOA) to have a good diversity of population, faster convergence and overcome premature. The test by using different benchmark functions is conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of improvement on the algorithm performance. Finally, IWO algorithm is applied to optimize the problems of two-way pattern of MIMO radar system, involving the achievements of sidelobe reduction, deep null and wide null at the prescribed directions. The obtained numerical results demonstrate that IWOA can not only efficiently fulfill the expected deep nulls and wide nulls at the prescribed directions, but also enable the peak sidelobe level to retain in the smaller level at the same time than several state-of-the-art algorithms.
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