Analysis of recombinative algorithms on a non-separable building-block problem

Richard A. Watson    Dynamical & Evolutionary Machine Organization, Volen Center for Complex Systems, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA


Our analysis seeks to exemplify the utility of crossover by studying a nonseparable building-block problem that is as easy as possible under recombination but very hard for any kind of mutation-based algorithm. The interdependent fitness contributions of blocks in this problem produce a search space that has an exponential number of local optima for a mutation-only algorithm. In contrast, the problem has no local optima for a recombinative algorithm - that is, there is always a path of monotonically ...

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