Gene-pool Optimal Mixing Evolutionary Algorithms (GOMEAs) have been shown to achieve state-of-the-art results on various types of optimization problems with various types of problem variables. Recently, a GOMEA for permutation spaces was introduced by leveraging the random keys encoding, obtaining promising first results on permutation flow shop instances. A key cited strength of GOMEAs is linkage learning, i.e., the ability to determine and leverage, during optimization, key dependencies between problem variables. However, the added value of linkage learning was not tested in depth for permutation GOMEA. Here, we introduce a new version of permutation GOMEA, called qGOMEA, that works directly in permutation space, removing the redundancy of using random keys. We additionally consider various linkage information sources, including random noise, in both GOMEA variants, and compare performance with various classic genetic algorithms on a wider range of problems than considered before. We find that, although the benefits of linkage learning are clearly visible for various artificial benchmark problems, this is far less the case for various real-world inspired problems. Finally, we find that qGOMEA performs best, and is more applicable to a wider range of permutation problems.

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Swarm and Evolutionary Computation
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Guijt, A, Luong, N.H, Bosman, P.A.N, & de Weerdt, M.M. (2022). On the impact of linkage learning, gene-pool optimal mixing, and non-redundant encoding on permutation optimization. Swarm and Evolutionary Computation, 70, 101044.1–101044.13. doi:10.1016/j.swevo.2022.101044