Solving Problems with Unknown Solution Length at (Almost) No Extra Cost

Abstract : Most research in the theory of evolutionary computation assumes that the problem at hand has a fixed problem size. This assumption does not always apply to real-world optimization challenges, where the length of an optimal solution may be unknown a priori. Following up on previous work of Cathabard, Lehre, and Yao [FOGA 2011] we analyze variants of the (1+1) evolutionary algorithm for problems with unknown solution length. For their setting, in which the solution length is sampled from a geometric distribution, we provide mutation rates that yield an expected optimization time that is of the same order as that of the (1+1) EA knowing the solution length. We then show that almost the same run times can be achieved even if no a priori information on the solution length is available. Finally, we provide mutation rates suitable for settings in which neither the solution length nor the positions of the relevant bits are known. Again we obtain almost optimal run times for the OneMax and LeadingOnes test functions, thus solving an open problem from Cathabard et al.
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Contributor : Carola Doerr <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 2:46:11 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 4:41:27 PM

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Benjamin Doerr, Carola Doerr, Timo Kötzing. Solving Problems with Unknown Solution Length at (Almost) No Extra Cost. GECCO '15 - 2015 Annual Conference on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation, Jul 2015, Madrid, Spain. pp.831-838, ⟨10.1145/2739480.2754681⟩. ⟨hal-01272866⟩

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