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Authors:Osuna E; Sudholt D. Pages: 1 - 26 Abstract: AbstractNiching methods have been developed to maintain the population diversity, to investigate many peaks in parallel, and to reduce the effect of genetic drift. We present the first rigorous runtime analyses of restricted tournament selection (RTS), embedded in a (μ+1) EA, and analyse its effectiveness at finding both optima of the bimodal function TwoMax. In RTS, an offspring competes against the closest individual, with respect to some distance measure, amongst w (window size) population members (chosen uniformly at random with replacement), to encourage competition within the same niche. We prove that RTS finds both optima on TwoMax efficiently if the window size w is large enough. However, if w is too small, RTS fails to find both optima even in exponential time, with high probability. We further consider a variant of RTS selecting individuals for the tournament without replacement. It yields a more diverse tournament and is more effective at preventing one niche from taking over the other. However, this comes at the expense of a slower progress towards optima when a niche collapses to a single individual. Our theoretical results are accompanied by experimental studies that shed light on parameters not covered by the theoretical results and support a conjectured lower runtime bound. PubDate: Tue, 01 Mar 2022 00:00:00 GMT DOI: 10.1162/evco_a_00292 Issue No:Vol. 30, No. 1 (2022)

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Authors:Glasmachers T; Krause O. Pages: 27 - 50 Abstract: AbstractThe class of algorithms called Hessian Estimation Evolution Strategies (HE-ESs) update the covariance matrix of their sampling distribution by directly estimating the curvature of the objective function. The approach is practically efficient, as attested by respectable performance on the BBOB testbed, even on rather irregular functions. In this article, we formally prove two strong guarantees for the (1 + 4)-HE-ES, a minimal elitist member of the family: stability of the covariance matrix update, and as a consequence, linear convergence on all convex quadratic problems at a rate that is independent of the problem instance. PubDate: Tue, 01 Mar 2022 00:00:00 GMT DOI: 10.1162/evco_a_00295 Issue No:Vol. 30, No. 1 (2022)

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Authors:Sotto L; Rothlauf F, de Melo V, et al. Pages: 51 - 74 Abstract: AbstractLinear Genetic Programming (LGP) represents programs as sequences of instructions and has a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) dataflow. The results of instructions are stored in registers that can be used as arguments by other instructions. Instructions that are disconnected from the main part of the program are called noneffective instructions, or structural introns. They also appear in other DAG-based GP approaches like Cartesian Genetic Programming (CGP). This article studies four hypotheses on the role of structural introns: noneffective instructions (1) serve as evolutionary memory, where evolved information is stored and later used in search, (2) preserve population diversity, (3) allow neutral search, where structural introns increase the number of neutral mutations and improve performance, and (4) serve as genetic material to enable program growth. We study different variants of LGP controlling the influence of introns for symbolic regression, classification, and digital circuits problems. We find that there is (1) evolved information in the noneffective instructions that can be reactivated and that (2) structural introns can promote programs with higher effective diversity. However, both effects have no influence on LGP search performance. On the other hand, allowing mutations to not only be applied to effective but also to noneffective instructions (3) increases the rate of neutral mutations and (4) contributes to program growth by making use of the genetic material available as structural introns. This comes along with a significant increase of LGP performance, which makes structural introns important for LGP. PubDate: Tue, 01 Mar 2022 00:00:00 GMT DOI: 10.1162/evco_a_00296 Issue No:Vol. 30, No. 1 (2022)

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Authors:Kronberger GG; de Franca FO, Burlacu BB, et al. Pages: 75 - 98 Abstract: AbstractWe investigate the addition of constraints on the function image and its derivatives for the incorporation of prior knowledge in symbolic regression. The approach is called shape-constrained symbolic regression and allows us to enforce, for example, monotonicity of the function over selected inputs. The aim is to find models which conform to expected behavior and which have improved extrapolation capabilities. We demonstrate the feasibility of the idea and propose and compare two evolutionary algorithms for shape-constrained symbolic regression: (i) an extension of tree-based genetic programming which discards infeasible solutions in the selection step, and (ii) a two-population evolutionary algorithm that separates the feasible from the infeasible solutions. In both algorithms we use interval arithmetic to approximate bounds for models and their partial derivatives. The algorithms are tested on a set of 19 synthetic and four real-world regression problems. Both algorithms are able to identify models which conform to shape constraints which is not the case for the unmodified symbolic regression algorithms. However, the predictive accuracy of models with constraints is worse on the training set and the test set. Shape-constrained polynomial regression produces the best results for the test set but also significantly larger models. PubDate: Tue, 01 Mar 2022 00:00:00 GMT DOI: 10.1162/evco_a_00294 Issue No:Vol. 30, No. 1 (2022)

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Authors:Pei W; Xue B, Shang L, et al. Pages: 99 - 129 Abstract: AbstractHigh-dimensional unbalanced classification is challenging because of the joint effects of high dimensionality and class imbalance. Genetic programming (GP) has the potential benefits for use in high-dimensional classification due to its built-in capability to select informative features. However, once data are not evenly distributed, GP tends to develop biased classifiers which achieve a high accuracy on the majority class but a low accuracy on the minority class. Unfortunately, the minority class is often at least as important as the majority class. It is of importance to investigate how GP can be effectively utilized for high-dimensional unbalanced classification. In this article, to address the performance bias issue of GP, a new two-criterion fitness function is developed, which considers two criteria, that is, the approximation of area under the curve (AUC) and the classification clarity (i.e., how well a program can separate two classes). The obtained values on the two criteria are combined in pairs, instead of summing them together. Furthermore, this article designs a three-criterion tournament selection to effectively identify and select good programs to be used by genetic operators for generating offspring during the evolutionary learning process. The experimental results show that the proposed method achieves better classification performance than other compared methods. PubDate: Tue, 01 Mar 2022 00:00:00 GMT DOI: 10.1162/evco_a_00304 Issue No:Vol. 30, No. 1 (2022)