Matrix-Based Evolutionary Computation

Zhi-Hui ZHAN, Jun ZHANG*, Ying LIN, Jian-Yu LI, Ting HUANG, Xiao-Qi GUO, Feng-Feng WEI, Sam KWONG, Xin-Yi ZHANG, Rui YOU

*Corresponding author for this work

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

47 Citations (Scopus)


Computational intelligence (CI), including artificial neural network, fuzzy logic, and evolutionary computation (EC), has rapidly developed nowadays. Especially, EC is a kind of algorithm for knowledge creation and problem solving, playing a significant role in CI and artificial intelligence (AI). However, traditional EC algorithms have faced great challenge of heavy computational burden and long running time in large-scale (e.g., with many variables) problems. How to efficiently extend EC algorithms to solve complex problems has become one of the most significant research topics in CI and AI communities. To this aim, this paper proposes a matrix-based EC (MEC) framework to extend traditional EC algorithms for efficiently solving large-scale or super large-scale optimization problems. The proposed framework is an entirely new perspective on EC algorithm, from the solution representation to the evolutionary operators. In this framework, the whole population (containing a set of individuals) is defined as a matrix, where a row stands for an individual and a column stands for a dimension (decision variable). This way, the parallel computing functionalities of matrix can be directly and easily carried out on the high performance computing resources to accelerate the computational speed of evolutionary operators. This paper gives two typical examples of MEC algorithms, named matrix-based genetic algorithm and matrix-based particle swarm optimization. Their matrix-based solution representations are presented and the evolutionary operators based on the matrix are described. Moreover, the time complexity is analyzed and the experiments are conducted to show that these MEC algorithms are efficient in reducing the computational time on large scale of decision variables. The MEC is a promising way to extend EC to complex optimization problems in big data environment, leading to a new research direction in CI and AI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-328
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computational Intelligence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundations of China (NSFC) under Grants 61873097, 61822602, and 61772207, in part by the National Key Research and Development Program of China under Grant 2019YFB2102102, in part by the Key-Area Research and Development of Guangdong Province under Grant 2020B010166002, in part by the Guangdong Natural Science Foundation Research Team under Grant 2018B030312003, in part by the Guangdong-Hong Kong Joint Innovation Platform under Grant 2018B050502006, and in part by the Hong Kong GRF-RGC General Research Fund 9042816 (CityU 11209819)

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IEEE.


  • Evolutionary computation (EC)
  • genetic algorithm (GA)
  • matrix-based evolutionary computation (MEC)
  • particle swarm optimization (PSO)


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