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Calibrating an evolutionary algorithm (EA) means finding the right values of algorithm parameters for a given problem. This issue is highly relevant, because it has a high impact (the performance of EAs does depend on appropriate parameter values), and it occurs frequently (parameter values must be set before all EA runs). This issue is also highly challenging, because finding good parameter values is a difficult task. In this paper we propose an algorithmic approach to EA calibration by describing a method, called REVAC, that can determine good parameter values in an automated manner on any given problem instance. We validate this method by comparing it with the conventional hand-based calibration and another algorithmic approach based on the classical meta-GA. Comparative experiments on a set of randomly generated problem instances with various levels of multi-modality show that GAs calibrated with REVAC can outperform those calibrated by hand and by the meta-GA.
Date of Conference: 25-28 Sept. 2007