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Appears in Collections:Computing Science and Mathematics Conference Papers and Proceedings
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Authors: Ochoa, Gabriela
Veerapen, Nadarajen
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Title: Deconstructing the Big Valley Search Space Hypothesis
Editors: Chicano, F
Hu, B
García-Sánchez, P
Citation: Ochoa G & Veerapen N (2016) Deconstructing the Big Valley Search Space Hypothesis, Chicano F, Hu B, García-Sánchez P (ed.) Evolutionary Computation in Combinatorial Optimization: 16th European Conference, EvoCOP 2016, Porto, Portugal, March 30 -- April 1, 2016, Proceedings, 16th European Conference on Evolutionary Computation in Combinatorial Optimisation, EvoCOP 2016, Porto, Portugal, 30.3.2016 - 1.4.2016, Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, pp. 58-73.
Issue Date: 15-Mar-2016
Series/Report no.: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 9595
Conference Name: 16th European Conference on Evolutionary Computation in Combinatorial Optimisation, EvoCOP 2016
Conference Dates: 2016-03-30T00:00:00Z
Conference Location: Porto, Portugal
Abstract: The big valley hypothesis suggests that, in combinatorial optimisation, local optima of good quality are clustered and surround the global optimum. We show here that the idea of a single valley does not always hold. Instead the big valley seems to de-construct into several valleys, also called ‘funnels’ in theoretical chemistry. We use the local optima networks model and propose an effective procedure for extracting the network data. We conduct a detailed study on four selected TSP instances of moderate size and observe that the big valley decomposes into a number of sub-valleys of different sizes and fitness distributions. Sometimes the global optimum is located in the largest valley, which suggests an easy to search landscape, but this is not generally the case. The global optimum might be located in a small valley, which offers a clear and visual explanation of the increased search difficulty in these cases. Our study opens up new possibilities for analysing and visualising combinatorial landscapes as complex networks.
Type: Conference Paper
Status: Book Chapter: author post-print (pre-copy editing)
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository, Published in Evolutionary Computation in Combinatorial Optimization by Springer 2016; The final publication is available at Springer via
Affiliation: Computing Science - CSM Dept
Computing Science - CSM Dept

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