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The theoretical analysis of evolutionary algorithms is believed to be very important for understanding their internal search mechanism and thus to develop more efficient algorithms. This paper presents a simple mathematical analysis of the explorative search behavior of a recently developed metaheuristic algorithm called harmony search (HS). HS is a derivative-free real parameter optimization algorithm, and it draws inspiration from the musical improvisation process of searching for a perfect state of harmony. This paper analyzes the evolution of the population-variance over successive generations in HS and thereby draws some important conclusions regarding the explorative power of HS. A simple but very useful modification to the classical HS has been proposed in light of the mathematical analysis undertaken here. A comparison with the most recently published variants of HS and four other state-of-the-art optimization algorithms over 15 unconstrained and five constrained benchmark functions reflects the efficiency of the modified HS in terms of final accuracy, convergence speed, and robustness.
Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:41 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: Feb. 2011