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Biological evolution gives rise to self-organizing phenomena. Inspired by this theory, directed variation is added to the (μ, λ) evolution strategies (ES) algorithm and it is called directed variation ES (DVES). In DVES, some neighboring individuals in the population mutate correlatively according to the distribution of the whole population. Experimental results showed that, with the same number of function evaluations, directed variation ES reached better optimization results for different generally used strategies under the ES framework. Experimental analysis showed that the application of directed variation could increase the expected fitness improvement and the probability of fitness improvement. From a biological perspective, directed variation can be regarded as a result of self-organizing evolution.