MEDAL Report 2012004
Transfer learning, soft distance-based bias, and the hierarchical BOA
Martin Pelikan, Mark W. Hauschild, and Pier Luca Lanzi  (2012)

Abstract. An automated technique has recently been proposed to transfer learning in the hierarchical Bayesian optimization algorithm (hBOA) based on distance-based statistics. The technique enables practitioners to improve hBOA efficiency by collecting statistics from probabilistic models obtained in previous hBOA runs and using the obtained statistics to bias future hBOA runs on similar problems. The purpose of this paper is threefold: (1) test the technique on several classes of NP-complete problems, including MAXSAT, spin glasses and minimum vertex cover; (2) demonstrate that the technique is effective even when previous runs were done on problems of different size; (3) provide empirical evidence that combining transfer learning with other efficiency enhancement techniques can often yield nearly multiplicative speedups.

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Missouri Estimation of Distribution Algorithms Laboratory
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO


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