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Evolutionary Computation

Winter 2001, Vol. 9, No. 4, Pages 461-493
(doi: 10.1162/10636560152642878)
© 2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Empirical Modelling of Genetic Algorithms
Article PDF (1.95 MB)

This paper addresses the problem of reliably setting genetic algorithm parameters for consistent labelling problems. Genetic algorithm parameters are notoriously difficult to determine. This paper proposes a robust empirical framework, based on the analysis of factorial experiments. The use of a graeco-latin square permits an initial study of a wide range of parameter settings. This is followed by fully crossed factorial experiments with narrower ranges, which allow detailed analysis by logistic regression. The empirical models derived can be used to determine optimal algorithm parameters and to shed light on interactions between the parameters and their relative importance. Re-fined models are produced, which are shown to be robust under extrapolation to up to triple the problem size.