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Evolutionary Computation

Winter 2005, Vol. 13, No. 4, Pages 413-440
(doi: 10.1162/106365605774666921)
© 2005 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
On the Choice of the Offspring Population Size in Evolutionary Algorithms
Article PDF (359.52 KB)

Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) generally come with a large number of parameters that have to be set before the algorithm can be used. Finding appropriate settings is a diffi- cult task. The influence of these parameters on the efficiency of the search performed by an evolutionary algorithm can be very high. But there is still a lack of theoretically justified guidelines to help the practitioner find good values for these parameters. One such parameter is the offspring population size. Using a simplified but still realistic evolutionary algorithm, a thorough analysis of the effects of the offspring population size is presented. The result is a much better understanding of the role of offspring population size in an EA and suggests a simple way to dynamically adapt this parameter when necessary.