On the easiest and hardest fitness functions

He, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-5616-4691, Chen, T. and Yao, X., 2015. On the easiest and hardest fitness functions. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, 19 (2), pp. 295-305. ISSN 1089-778X

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The hardness of fitness functions is an important research topic in the field of evolutionary computation. In theory, the study can help understanding the ability of evolutionary algorithms. In practice, the study may provide a guideline to the design of benchmarks. The aim of this paper is to answer the following research questions: Given a fitness function class, which functions are the easiest with respect to an evolutionary algorithm? Which are the hardest? How are these functions constructed? The paper provides theoretical answers to these questions. The easiest and hardest fitness functions are constructed for an elitist (1+1) evolutionary algorithm to maximise a class of fitness functions with the same optima. It is demonstrated that the unimodal functions are the easiest and deceptive functions are the hardest in terms of the time-based fitness landscape. The paper also reveals that in a fitness function class, the easiest function to one algorithm may become the hardest to another algorithm, and vice versa.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation
Creators: He, J., Chen, T. and Yao, X.
Publisher: IEEE
Date: April 2015
Volume: 19
Number: 2
ISSN: 1089-778X
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 28 Mar 2018 15:52
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2018 15:52
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/33143

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