The following listing contains all publications of the current members of the Algorithm Engineering group in 2017. For prior publications, see the list of all publications or the individual lists of publications of each group member, linked from the staff list.
Friedrich, Tobias; Kötzing, Timo; Lagodzinski, J. A. Gregor; Neumann, Frank; Schirneck, MartinAnalysis of the (1+1) EA on Subclasses of Linear Functions under Uniform and Linear Constraints. Foundations of Genetic Algorithms (FOGA) 2017
Linear functions have gained a lot of attention in the area of run time analysis of evolutionary computation methods and the corresponding analyses have provided many effective tools for analyzing more complex problems. In this paper, we consider the behavior of the classical (1+1) Evolutionary Algorithm for linear functions under linear constraint. We show tight bounds in the case where both the objective function and the constraint is given by the OneMax function and present upper bounds as well as lower bounds for the general case. Furthermore, we also consider the LeadingOnes fitness function.
Friedrich, Tobias; Kötzing, Timo; Quinzan, Francesco; Sutton, Andrew MichaelResampling vs Recombination: a Statistical Run Time Estimation. Foundations of Genetic Algorithms (FOGA) 2017
Noise is pervasive in real-world optimization, but there is still little understanding of the interplay between the operators of randomized search heuristics and explicit noise-handling techniques, such as statistical resampling. In this paper, we report on several statistical models and theoretical results that help to clarify this reciprocal relationship for a collection of randomized search heuristics on noisy functions. We consider the optimization of pseudo-Boolean functions under additive posterior Gaussian noise and explore the trade-o between noise reduction and the computational cost of resampling. We first perform experiments to find the optimal parameters at a given noise intensity for a mutation-only evolutionary algorithm, a genetic algorithm employing recombination, an estimation of distribution algorithm (EDA), and an ant colony optimization algorithm. We then observe how the optimal parameter depends on the noise intensity for the different algorithms. Finally, we locate the point where statistical resampling costs more than it is worth in terms of run time. We find that the EA requires the highest number of resamples to obtain the best speed-up, whereas crossover reduces both the run time and the number of resamples required. Most surprisingly, we find that EDA-like algorithms require no resampling, and can handle noise implicitly.
Friedrich, Tobias; Kötzing, Timo; Wagner, MarkusA Simple Bet-and-run Strategy for Speeding Up Traveling Salesperson and Minimum Vertex Cover. Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) 2017
A common strategy for improving optimization algorithms is to restart the algorithm when it is believed to be trapped in an inferior part of the search space. However, while specific restart strategies have been developed for specific problems (and specific algorithms), restarts are typically not regarded as a general tool to speed up an optimization algorithm. In fact, many optimization algorithms do not employ restarts at all. Recently, bet-and-run was introduced in the context of mixed-integer programming, where first a number of short runs with randomized initial conditions is made, and then the most promising run of these is continued. In this article, we consider two classical NP-complete combinatorial optimization problems, traveling salesperson and minimum vertex cover, and study the effectiveness of different bet-and-run strategies. In particular, our restart strategies do not take any problem knowledge into account, nor are tailored to the optimization algorithm. Therefore, they can be used off-the-shelf. We observe that state-of-the-art solvers for these problems can benefit significantly from restarts on standard benchmark instances.
Friedrich, Tobias; Krohmer, Anton; Rothenberger, Ralf; Sutton, Andrew M.Phase Transitions for Scale-Free SAT Formulas. Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) 2017
Recently, a number of non-uniform random satisfiability models have been proposed that are closer to practical satisfiability problems in some characteristics. In contrast to uniform random Boolean formulas, scale-free formulas have a variable occurrence distribution that follows a power law. It has been conjectured that such a distribution is a more accurate model for some industrial instances than the uniform random model. Though it seems that there is already an awareness of a threshold phenomenon in such models, there is still a complete picture lacking. In contrast to the uniform model, the critical density threshold does not lie at a single point, but instead exhibits a functional dependency on the power-law exponent. For scale-free formulas with clauses of length \(k = 2\), we give a lower bound on the phase transition threshold as a function of the scaling parameter. We also perform computational studies that suggest our bound is tight and investigate the critical density for formulas with higher clause lengths. Similar to the uniform model, on formulas with \(k \ge 3\), we find that the phase transition regime corresponds to a set of formulas that are difficult to solve by backtracking search.
Friedrich, Tobias; Neumann, FrankWhat’s Hot in Evolutionary Computation. Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) 2017
We provide a brief overview on some hot topics in the area of evolutionary computation. Our main focus is on recent developments in the areas of combinatorial optimization and real-world applications. Furthermore, we highlight recent progress on the theoretical understanding of evolutionary computing methods.
Krejca, Martin S.; Witt, CarstenLower Bounds on the Run Time of the Univariate Marginal Distribution Algorithm on OneMax. Foundations of Genetic Algorithms (FOGA) 2017
We consider the weighted minimum vertex cover problem and investigate how its dual formulation can be exploited to design evolutionary algorithms that provably obtain a 2-approximation. Investigating multi-valued representations, we show that variants of randomized local search and the (1+1) EA achieve this goal in expected pseudo-polynomial time. In order to speed up the process, we consider the use of step size adaptation in both algorithms and show that RLS obtains a 2-approximation in expected polynomial time while the (1+1) EA still encounters a pseudo-polynomial lower bound.
Friedrich, Tobias; Kötzing, Timo; Krejca, Martin S.; Sutton, Andrew M.The Compact Genetic Algorithm is Efficient under Extreme Gaussian Noise. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation 2017
Practical optimization problems frequently include uncertainty about the quality measure, for example due to noisy evaluations. Thus, they do not allow for a straightforward application of traditional optimization techniques. In these settings, randomized search heuristics such as evolutionary algorithms are a popular choice because they are often assumed to exhibit some kind of resistance to noise. Empirical evidence suggests that some algorithms, such as estimation of distribution algorithms (EDAs) are robust against a scaling of the noise intensity, even without resorting to explicit noise-handling techniques such as resampling. In this paper, we want to support such claims with mathematical rigor. We introduce the concept of graceful scaling in which the run time of an algorithm scales polynomially with noise intensity. We study a monotone fitness function over binary strings with additive noise taken from a Gaussian distribution. We show that myopic heuristics cannot efficiently optimize the function under arbitrarily intense noise without any explicit noise-handling. Furthermore, we prove that using a population does not help. Finally we show that a simple EDA called the compact Genetic Algorithm can overcome the shortsightedness of mutation-only heuristics to scale gracefully with noise. We conjecture that recombinative genetic algorithms also have this property.
Our research focus is on theoretical computer science and algorithm engineering. We are equally interested in the mathematical foundations of algorithms and developing efficient algorithms in practice. A special focus is on random structures and methods.