Selection, Drift, Recombination and Mutation in Multiobjective Evolutionary Algorithms on Scalable MNK-Landscapes


This work focuses on the working principles, behavior, and performance of state of the art multiobjective evolutionary algorithms (MOEAs) on discrete search spaces by using MNK-Landscapes. Its motivation comes from the performance shown by NSGA-II and SPEA2 on epistatic problems, which suggest that simpler population-based multiobjective random one-bit climbers are by far superior. Adaptive evolution is a search process driven by selection, drift, mutation, and recombination over fitness landscapes. We group MOEAs features and organize our study around these four important and intertwined processes in order to understand better their effects and clarify the reasons to the poor performance shown by NSGA-II and SPEA2. This work also constitutes a valuable guide for the practitioner on how to set up its algorithm and gives useful insights on how to design more robust and efficient MOEAs.