A Unified Markov Chain Approach to Analysing Randomised Search Heuristics

Jun He, Feidun He, Xin Yao

The convergence, convergence rate and expected hitting time play fundamental roles in the analysis of randomised search heuristics. This paper presents a unified Markov chain approach to studying them. Using the approach, the sufficient and necessary conditions of convergence in distribution are established. Then the average convergence rate is introduced to randomised search heuristics and its lower and upper bounds are derived. Finally, novel average drift analysis and backward drift analysis are proposed for bounding the expected hitting time. A computational study is also conducted to investigate the convergence, convergence rate and expected hitting time. The theoretical study belongs to a prior and general study while the computational study belongs to a posterior and case study.

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