Evaluating evolutionary algorithms

  • Whitney W
  • Rana S
  • Dzubera J
  • et al.
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Test functions are commonly used to evaluate the effectiveness of different search algorithms. However, the results of evaluation are as dependent on the test problems as they are on the algorithms that are the subject of comparison. Unfortunately, developing a test suite for evaluating competing search algorithms is difficult without clearly defined evaluation goals. In this paper we discuss some basic principles that can be used to develop test suites and we examine the role of test suites as they have been used to evaluate evolutionary search algorithms. Current test suites include functions that are easily solved by simple search methods such as greedy hill-climbers. Some test functions also have undesirable characteristics that are exaggerated as the dimensionality of the search space is increased. New methods are examined for constructing functions with different degrees of nonlinearity, where the interactions and the cost of evaluation scale with respect to the dimensionality of the search space.




Whitney, W., Rana, S., Dzubera, J., & Mathias, K. E. (1996). Evaluating evolutionary algorithms. Artificial Intelligence, 84(1–2), 357–358. https://doi.org/10.1016/0004-3702(96)81371-3

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