This paper presents the real-coded extended compact genetic algorithms (rECGA) for decomposable real-valued optimization problems. Mutual information among real-valued variables is employed to measure variables interaction or dependency, and the variables clustering and aggregation algorithms are proposed to identify the substructures of a problem through partitioning variables. Then, mixture Gaussian probability density function is estimated to model the promising individuals for each substructure, and the sampling of multivariate Gaussian probability density function is done by adopting Cholesky decomposition. Finally, experiments on decomposable test functions are conducted. The results show that the rECGA is able to correctly identify the substructure of decomposable problems with linear or nonlinear correlations, and achieves a good scalability. ]]>

The Bayesian optimization algorithm (BOA) uses Bayesian networks to learn linkages between the decision variables of an optimization problem. This paper studies the influence of different selection and replacement methods on the accuracy of linkage learning in BOA. Results on concatenated m-k deceptive trap functions show that the model accuracy depends on a large extent on the choice of selection method and to a lesser extent on the replacement strategy used. Specifically, it is shown that linkage learning in BOA is more accurate with truncation selection than with tournament selection. The choice of replacement strategy is important when tournament selection is used, but it is not relevant when using truncation selection. On the other hand, if performance is our main concern, tournament selection and restricted tournament replacement should be preferred. These results aim to provide practitioners with useful information about the best way to tune BOA with respect to structural model accuracy and overall performance. ]]>

This paper presents a simple real-coded estimation of distribution algorithm (EDA) design using ?-ary extended compact genetic algorithm (?ECGA) and discretization methods. Specifically, the real-valued decision variables are mapped to discrete symbols of user-specified cardinality using discretization methods. The ?ECGA is then used to build the probabilistic model and to sample a new population based on the probabilistic model. The effect of alphabet cardinality and the selection pressure on the scalability of the real-coded ECGA (rECGA) method is investigated. The results show that the population size required by rECGA—to successfully solve a class of additivelyseparable problems—scales sub-quadratically with problem size and the number of function evaluations scales sub-cubically with problem size. The proposed rECGA is simple, making it amenable for further empirical and theoretical analysis. Moreover, the probabilistic models built in the proposed realcoded ECGA are readily interpretable and can be easily visualized. The proposed algorithm and the results presented in this paper are first step towards conducting a systematic analysis of real-coded EDAs and towards developing a design theory for development of scalable and robust real-coded EDAs. ]]>

**Abstract:**

Estimation of distribution algorithms (EDAs) are stochastic optimization techniques that explore the space of potential solutions by building and sampling explicit probabilistic models of promising candidate solutions. While the primary goal of applying EDAs is to discover the global optimum or at least its accurate approximation, besides this, any EDA provides us with a sequence of probabilistic models, which in most cases hold a great deal of information about the problem. Although using problem-specific knowledge has been shown to significantly improve performance of EDAs and other evolutionary algorithms, this readily available source of problem-specific information has been practically ignored by the EDA community. This paper takes the first step towards the use of probabilistic models obtained by EDAs to speed up the solution of similar problems in future. More specifically, we propose two approaches to biasing model building in the hierarchical Bayesian optimization algorithm (hBOA) based on knowledge automatically learned from previous hBOA runs on similar problems. We show that the proposed methods lead to substantial speedups and argue that the methods should work well in other applications that require solving a large number of problems with similar structure.

**Abstract:**

This paper proposes the incremental Bayesian optimization algorithm (iBOA), which modifies standard BOA by removing the population of solutions and using incremental updates of the Bayesian network. iBOA is shown to be able to learn and exploit unrestricted Bayesian networks using incremental techniques for updating both the structure as well as the parameters of the probabilistic model. This represents an important step toward the design of competent incremental estimation of distribution algorithms that can solve difficult nearly decomposable problems scalably and reliably.

**Abstract:**

Efficiency enhancement techniques—such as parallelization and hybridization—are among the most important ingredients of practical applications of genetic and evolutionary algorithms and that is why this research area represents an important niche of evolutionary computation. This paper describes and analyzes sporadic model building, which can be used to enhance the efficiency of the hierarchical Bayesian optimization algorithm (hBOA) and other estimation of distribution algorithms (EDAs) that use complex multivariate probabilistic models. With sporadic model building, the structure of the probabilistic model is updated once in every few iterations (generations), whereas in the remaining iterations, only model parameters (conditional and marginal probabilities) are updated. Since the time complexity of updating model parameters is much lower than the time complexity of learning the model structure, sporadic model building decreases the overall time complexity of model building. The paper shows that for boundedly difficult nearly decomposable and hierarchical optimization problems, sporadic model building leads to a significant model-building speedup, which decreases the asymptotic time complexity of model building in hBOA by a factor of *O(n ^{0.26})* to

]]>

]]>

**Abstract:**

We analyze the utility and scalability of extended compact genetic algorithm (eCGA) – a genetic algorithm (GA) that automatically and adaptively mines the regularities of the fitness landscape using machine learning methods and information theoretic measures – for ground state optimization of clusters. In order to reduce the computational time requirements while retaining the high reliability of predicting near-optimal structures, we employ two efficiency-enhancement techniques: (1) hybridizing eCGA with a local search method, and (2) seeding the initial population with lowest energy structures of a smaller cluster. The proposed method is exemplified by optimizing silicon clusters with 4-20 atoms. The results indicate that the population size required to obtain near-optimal solutions with 98% probability scales sub linearly (as ?(n^{0.83})) with the cluster size. The total number of function evaluations (cluster energy calculations) scales sub-cubically (as ?(n^{2.45})), which is a significant improvement over exponential scaling of poorly designed evolutionary algorithms.