A Study on Population Size and Selection Lapse in Many-objective Optimization


In this work we study the effects of population size on selection and performance scalability of two dominance-based algorithms applied to many-objective optimization. Our aim is to understand the relationship between the size of the Pareto optimal set, a characteristic of the many-objective problem at hand, the population size and the ability of the algorithm to retain Pareto optimal solutions in its population and find new ones. This work clarifies important issues of the dynamics of evolutionary algorithms on many-objective landscapes, particularly related to survival selection. It shows that optimal solutions are dropped from the population in favor of suboptimal solutions that appear non-dominated when survival selection is applied. It also shows that this selection lapse, the dropping of optimal solution, affects the discovery of new optimal solutions and is correlated to population size and the distribution of solutions that survival selection renders. Selection makes less mistakes with larger populations and when the distribution of solutions is better controlled. The results of this study will be helpful to properly set population size and have a clearer idea about the performance expectation of the algorithm.