Skip to Main Content
This paper presents a new evolutionary approach called the hybrid evolutionary artificial neural network (HEANN) for simultaneously evolving an artificial neural networks (ANNs) topology and weights. Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) with strong global search capabilities are likely to provide the most promising region. However, they are less efficient in fine-tuning the search space locally. HEANN emphasizes the balancing of the global search and local search for the evolutionary process by adapting the mutation probability and the step size of the weight perturbation. This is distinguishable from most previous studies that incorporate EA to search for network topology and gradient learning for weight updating. Four benchmark functions were used to test the evolutionary framework of HEANN. In addition, HEANN was tested on seven classification benchmark problems from the UCI machine learning repository. Experimental results show the superior performance of HEANN in fine-tuning the network complexity within a small number of generations while preserving the generalization capability compared with other algorithms.