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do I have to use commas in sentence with 'like' and an enumeration? Here I have three examples:

  1. Other methods from the literature(,) like robust optimization, stochastic optimization, and rescheduling(,) were not investigated.
  2. The consideration of other devices(,) like combined heat and power systems or cooling devices(,) in the simulations should be done in future work.
  3. Metaheuristics are used in the literature to solve the optimization problem(,) like particle swarm optimization, evolutionary algorithms, and memetic algorithms.

In all cases 'like' starts an enumeration and gives additional information. Do I have to separate the 'like-part' by commas from the rest of the sentence? I'd appreciate every comment.

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I'd say, yes, use a comma. Consider "... wild animals like lions and tigers, bears, and gorillas". Without a comma this could mean that wild animals like (ie have affectionate feelings for) lions, tiger, etc, which is not only ambiguous, but nonsensical. The comma makes it clear that "like" is being used in the same sense as "such as".

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  • The third example is confusing. Is it a) Metaheuristics, like particle swarm optimization, evolutionary algorithms, and memetic algorithms, are used in the literature to solve the optimization problem, or, b) Metaheuristics are used in the literature, like particle swarm optimization, evolutionary algorithms, and memetic algorithms, to solve the optimization problem, or, c) Metaheuristics are used in the literature to solve the optimization problem, like particle swarm optimization, evolutionary algorithms, and memetic algorithms.
    – Ram Pillai
    Apr 19, 2020 at 12:06

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