Cloudde: a heterogeneous differential evolution algorithm and its distributed cloud version

Zhi-Hui Zhan, Xiao-Fang Liu, Huaxiang Zhang, Zhengtao Yu, Jian Weng, Yun Li, Tianlong Gu, Jun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Citations (Scopus)


Existing differential evolution (DE) algorithms often face two challenges. The first is that the optimization performance is significantly affected by the ad hoc configurations of operators and parameters for different problems. The second is the long runtime for real-world problems whose fitness evaluations are often expensive. Aiming at solving these two problems, this paper develops a novel double-layered heterogeneous DE algorithm and realizes it in cloud computing distributed environment. In the first layer, different populations with various parameters and/or operators run concurrently and adaptively migrate to deliver robust solutions by making the best use of performance differences among multiple populations. In the second layer, a set of cloud virtual machines run in parallel to evaluate fitness of corresponding populations, reducing computational costs as offered by cloud. Experimental results on a set of benchmark problems with different search requirements and a case study with expensive design evaluations have shown that the proposed algorithm offers generally improved performance and reduced computational time, compared with not only conventional and a number of state-of-the-art DE variants, but also a number of other distributed DE and high-performing evolutionary algorithms. The speedup is significant especially on expensive problems, offering high potential in a broad range of real-world applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7530859
Pages (from-to)704-716
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number3
Early online date3 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • adaptive migration strategy
  • cloud computing
  • differential evolution
  • evolutionary algorithm
  • heterogeneous parallelism


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