Soft Computing

, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 3787–3802 | Cite as

Bag of local landscape features for fitness landscape analysis

  • Shinichi Shirakawa
  • Tomoharu Nagao


Evolutionary computation is a research field dealing with black-box and complex optimization problems whose fitness landscapes are usually unknown in advance. It is difficult to select an appropriate evolutionary algorithm and parameters for a given problem due to the black-box setting although many evolutionary algorithms have been developed. In this context, several landscape features have been proposed and their usefulness examined for understanding the problem. In this paper, we propose a novel feature vector by focusing on the local landscape in order to characterize the fitness landscape. The proposed landscape features are a vector form and composed of a histogram of quantized local landscape features. We introduce two implementation methods of this concept, called the bag of local landscape patterns (BoLLP) and the bag of evolvability (BoEvo). The BoLLP uses the fitness pattern of the neighbors of a certain candidate solution, and the BoEvo uses the number of better candidate solutions in the neighbors as the local landscape features. Furthermore, the hierarchical versions of the BoLLP and the BoEvo, concatenated feature vectors with different sample sizes, are considered to capture the landscape characteristic with various resolutions. We extract the proposed landscape feature vectors from well-known continuous optimization benchmark functions and the BBOB benchmark function set to investigate their properties; the visualization of the proposed landscape features, clustering and running time prediction experiments are conducted. Then the effectiveness of the proposed landscape features for the fitness landscape analysis is discussed based on the experimental results.


Fitness landscape analysis Local features Problem understanding Continuous optimization problem 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering, Information and SystemsUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Environment and Information SciencesYokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan

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