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Exponential upper bounds for the runtime of randomized search heuristics

Abstract : We argue that proven exponential upper bounds on runtimes, an established area in classic algorithms, are interesting also in heuristic search and we prove several such results. We show that any of the algorithms randomized local search, Metropolis algorithm, simulated annealing, and (1+1) evolutionary algorithm can optimize any pseudo-Boolean weakly monotonic function under a large set of noise assumptions in a runtime that is at most exponential in the problem dimension n. This drastically extends a previous such result, limited to the (1+1) EA, the LeadingOnes function, and one-bit or bit-wise prior noise with noise probability at most 1/2, and at the same time simplifies its proof. With the same general argument, among others, we also derive a sub-exponential upper bound for the runtime of the (1, λ) evolutionary algorithm on the OneMax problem when the offspring population size λ is logarithmic, but below the efficiency threshold. To show that our approach can also deal with non-trivial parent population sizes, we prove an exponential upper bound for the runtime of the mutation-based version of the simple genetic algorithm on the OneMax benchmark, matching a known exponential lower bound.
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Contributor : Benjamin Doerr Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Saturday, September 25, 2021 - 11:43:41 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 3:36:12 AM


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Benjamin Doerr. Exponential upper bounds for the runtime of randomized search heuristics. Theoretical Computer Science, Elsevier, 2021, 851, pp.24-38. ⟨10.1016/j.tcs.2020.09.032⟩. ⟨hal-03354713⟩



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