Title: Analysing mutation schemes for real-parameter genetic algorithms

Authors: Kalyanmoy Deb; Debayan Deb

Addresses: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan State University, 428 S. Shaw Lane, 2120 EB, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA ' Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

Abstract: Mutation is an important operator in genetic algorithms (GAs), as it ensures maintenance of diversity in evolving populations of GAs. Real-parameter GAs (RGAs) handle real-valued variables directly without going to a binary string representation of variables. Although RGAs were first suggested in early '90s, the mutation operator is still implemented variable-wise - in a manner that is independent to each variable. In this paper, we investigate the effect of five different mutation schemes for RGAs using two different mutation operators - polynomial and Gaussian mutation operators. Based on extensive simulation studies, it is observed that a mutation clock implementation is computationally quick and also efficient in finding a solution close to the optimum on four different problems used in this study for both mutation operators. Moreover, parametric studies with their associated parameters reveal suitable working ranges of the parameters. Interestingly, both mutation operators with their respective optimal parameter settings are found to possess a similar inherent probability of offspring creation, a matter that is believed to be the reason for their superior working. This study signifies that the long suggested mutation clock operator should be considered as a valuable mutation operator for RGAs.

Keywords: genetic algorithms; mutation operator; mutation clock; polynomial mutation; real-parameter optimisation; Gaussian mutation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAISC.2014.059280

International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Soft Computing, 2014 Vol.4 No.1, pp.1 - 28

Received: 07 Aug 2012
Accepted: 03 Apr 2013

Published online: 28 Jun 2014 *

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