How Good are Genetic Algorithms at Finding Large Cliques: An Experimental Study
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Citation (published version)Carter, Robert; Park, Kihong. "How Good are Genetic Algorithms at Finding Large Cliques: An Experimental Study", Technical Report BUCS-1993-015, Computer Science Department, Boston University, October 1993. [Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2144/1469]
This paper investigates the power of genetic algorithms at solving the MAX-CLIQUE problem. We measure the performance of a standard genetic algorithm on an elementary set of problem instances consisting of embedded cliques in random graphs. We indicate the need for improvement, and introduce a new genetic algorithm, the multi-phase annealed GA, which exhibits superior performance on the same problem set. As we scale up the problem size and test on \hard" benchmark instances, we notice a degraded performance in the algorithm caused by premature convergence to local minima. To alleviate this problem, a sequence of modi cations are implemented ranging from changes in input representation to systematic local search. The most recent version, called union GA, incorporates the features of union cross-over, greedy replacement, and diversity enhancement. It shows a marked speed-up in the number of iterations required to find a given solution, as well as some improvement in the clique size found. We discuss issues related to the SIMD implementation of the genetic algorithms on a Thinking Machines CM-5, which was necessitated by the intrinsically high time complexity (O(n3)) of the serial algorithm for computing one iteration. Our preliminary conclusions are: (1) a genetic algorithm needs to be heavily customized to work "well" for the clique problem; (2) a GA is computationally very expensive, and its use is only recommended if it is known to find larger cliques than other algorithms; (3) although our customization e ort is bringing forth continued improvements, there is no clear evidence, at this time, that a GA will have better success in circumventing local minima.