Multifactorial Cellular Genetic Algorithm (MFCGA): Algorithmic Design, Performance Comparison and Genetic Transferability Analysis

24 Mar 2020  ·  Eneko Osaba, Aritz D. Martinez, Jesus L. Lobo, Javier Del Ser, Francisco Herrera ·

Multitasking optimization is an incipient research area which is lately gaining a notable research momentum. Unlike traditional optimization paradigm that focuses on solving a single task at a time, multitasking addresses how multiple optimization problems can be tackled simultaneously by performing a single search process. The main objective to achieve this goal efficiently is to exploit synergies between the problems (tasks) to be optimized, helping each other via knowledge transfer (thereby being referred to as Transfer Optimization). Furthermore, the equally recent concept of Evolutionary Multitasking (EM) refers to multitasking environments adopting concepts from Evolutionary Computation as their inspiration for the simultaneous solving of the problems under consideration. As such, EM approaches such as the Multifactorial Evolutionary Algorithm (MFEA) has shown a remarkable success when dealing with multiple discrete, continuous, single-, and/or multi-objective optimization problems. In this work we propose a novel algorithmic scheme for Multifactorial Optimization scenarios - the Multifactorial Cellular Genetic Algorithm (MFCGA) - that hinges on concepts from Cellular Automata to implement mechanisms for exchanging knowledge among problems. We conduct an extensive performance analysis of the proposed MFCGA and compare it to the canonical MFEA under the same algorithmic conditions and over 15 different multitasking setups (encompassing different reference instances of the discrete Traveling Salesman Problem). A further contribution of this analysis beyond performance benchmarking is a quantitative examination of the genetic transferability among the problem instances, eliciting an empirical demonstration of the synergies emerged between the different optimization tasks along the MFCGA search process.

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