In a parallel EA one can strictly adhere to the generational clock, and wait for all evaluations in a generation to be done. However, this idle time limits the throughput of the algorithm and wastes computational resources. Alternatively, an EA can be made asynchronous parallel. However, EAs using classic recombination and selection operators (GAs) are known to suffer from an evaluation time bias, which also influences the performance of the approach. Model-Based Evolutionary Algorithms (MBEAs) are more scalable than classic GAs by virtue of capturing the structure of a problem in a model. If this model is learned through linkage learning based on the population, the learned model may also capture biases. Thus, if an asynchronous parallel MBEA is also affected by an evaluation time bias, this could result in learned models to be less suited to solving the problem, reducing performance. Therefore, in this work, we study the impact and presence of evaluation time biases on MBEAs in an asynchronous parallelization setting, and compare this to the biases in GAs. We find that a modern MBEA, GOMEA, is unaffected by evaluation time biases, while the more classical MBEA, ECGA, is affected, much like GAs are.

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Distributed and Automated Evolutionary Deep Architecture Learning with Unprecedented Scalability
Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, GECCO 2023
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam (CWI), The Netherlands

Guijt, A., Thierens, D., Alderliesten, T., & Bosman, P. (2023). The impact of asynchrony on parallel model-based EAs. In GECCO '23: Proceedings of the 2023 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (pp. 910–918). doi:10.1145/3583131.3590406