Multimodal estimation of distribution algorithms

Qiang Yang, Wei-Neng Chen, Yun Li, C. L. Philip Chen, Xiang-Min Xu, Jun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Taking the advantage of estimation of distribution algorithms (EDAs) in preserving high diversity, this paper proposes a multimodal EDA. Integrated with clustering strategies for crowding and speciation, two versions of this algorithm are developed, which operate at the niche level. Then these two algorithms are equipped with three distinctive techniques: 1) a dynamic cluster sizing strategy; 2) an alternative utilization of Gaussian and Cauchy distributions to generate offspring; and 3) an adaptive local search. The dynamic cluster sizing affords a potential balance between exploration and exploitation and reduces the sensitivity to the cluster size in the niching methods. Taking advantages of Gaussian and Cauchy distributions, we generate the offspring at the niche level through alternatively using these two distributions. Such utilization can also potentially offer a balance between exploration and exploitation. Further, solution accuracy is enhanced through a new local search scheme probabilistically conducted around seeds of niches with probabilities determined self-adaptively according to fitness values of these seeds. Extensive experiments conducted on 20 benchmark multimodal problems confirm that both algorithms can achieve competitive performance compared with several state-of-the-art multimodal algorithms, which is supported by nonparametric tests. Especially, the proposed algorithms are very promising for complex problems with many local optima.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7407318
Pages (from-to)636-650
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2016


  • estimation of distribution algorithm (EDA)
  • multimodal optimization
  • multiple global optima
  • niching


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