Journal of Heuristics

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 311–334 | Cite as

Migration Policies, Selection Pressure, and Parallel Evolutionary Algorithms

  • Erick Cantú-Paz


This paper investigates how the policy used to select migrants and the individuals they replace affects the selection pressure in parallel evolutionary algorithms (EAs) with multiple populations. The four possible combinations of random and fitness-based emigration and replacement of existing individuals are considered. The investigation follows two approaches. The first is to calculate the takeover time under the four migration policies. This approach makes several simplifying assumptions, but the qualitative conclusions that are derived from the calculations are confirmed by the second approach. The second approach consists on quantifying the increase in the selection intensity. The selection intensity is a domain-independent adimensional quantity that can be used to compare the selection pressure of common selection methods with the pressure caused by migration. The results may help to avoid excessively high (or low) selection pressures that may cause the search to fail, and offer a plausible explanation to the frequent claims of superlinear speedups in parallel EAs.

multiple populations multiple demes island model migration rate emigrants immigrants 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erick Cantú-Paz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and Illinois Genetic Algorithms LaboratoryUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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