Knowledge Structure Preserving-Based Evolutionary Many-Task Optimization

Yi JAING, Zhi-Hui ZHAN, Kay Chen TAN, Sam KWONG, Jun ZHANG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


As a challenging research topic in evolutionary multitask optimization (EMTO), evolutionary many-task optimization (EMaTO) aims at solving more than three tasks simultaneously. The design of the EMaTO algorithm generally needs to consider two major open issues, which are how to obtain useful knowledge from similar source tasks and how to effectively transfer knowledge to the target task. In this paper, we discover that knowledge structure plays a significant role in dealing with these two issues and propose a novel knowledge structure preserving-based evolutionary algorithm (KSP-EA) to efficiently solve many-task optimization problems. KSP-EA aims to achieve two goals, which are firstly to obtain useful structure-preserved knowledge from similar source tasks and secondly to effectively transfer both direct and indirect knowledge to the target task. To achieve the first goal, we propose a local-structure-preserved knowledge acquisition strategy that projects the knowledge of similar source tasks into a unified subspace without loss of the knowledge structure, thus enhancing the quality of the obtained knowledge. To achieve the second goal, we propose a tree-based knowledge propagation strategy that constructs a knowledge propagating tree to connect all the tasks and propagates knowledge along the edges of this tree. This way, the target task can obtain both direct and indirect knowledge, improving the effectiveness of knowledge transfer. We conduct extensive experiments on CEC19 and WCCI22 many-task optimization test suites and a real-world application scenario to evaluate the performance of KSP-EA. The experimental results show that our KSP-EA generally outperforms state-of-the-art algorithms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation
Early online date18 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • Computer science
  • Evolutionary computation
  • Evolutionary multitask optimization
  • Knowledge acquisition
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Optimization
  • Task analysis
  • Vehicle routing
  • evolutionary computation
  • evolutionary many-task optimization
  • knowledge transfer
  • structure-preserved knowledge
  • tree-based knowledge propagation


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