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This paper proposes an algorithm for optimization inspired by the imperialistic competition. Like other evolutionary ones, the proposed algorithm starts with an initial population. Population individuals called country are in two types: colonies and imperialists that all together form some empires. Imperialistic competition among these empires forms the basis of the proposed evolutionary algorithm. During this competition, weak empires collapse and powerful ones take possession of their colonies. Imperialistic competition hopefully converges to a state in which there exist only one empire and its colonies are in the same position and have the same cost as the imperialist. Applying the proposed algorithm to some of benchmark cost functions, shows its ability in dealing with different types of optimization problems.