Non-revisiting genetic algorithm with adaptive mutation using constant memory

Yang LOU, Shiu Yin YUEN*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

22 Citations (Scopus)


The continuous non-revisiting genetic algorithm (cNrGA) uses the entire search history and parameter-less adaptive mutation to significantly enhance search performance. Storing the entire search history is natural and costs little when the number of fitness evaluations is small or moderate. However, if the number of evaluations required is substantial, some memory management is desirable. In this paper, we propose two pruning mechanisms to keep the memory used constant. They are least recently used pruning and random pruning. The basic idea is to prune a unit of memory when the memory threshold is reached and some new search information is required to be stored, thus keeping the overall memory used constant. Meanwhile, both pruning strategies naturally form parameter-less adaptive mutation operators. A study is carried out to evaluate the impact on performance caused by loss of search history information. Experimental results show that (1) both strategies can maintain the performance of cNrGA, up to the empirical limit when 90 % of the search history is not recorded, (2) cNrGA and its variants with constant memory outperform the real-coded genetic algorithm and the standard particle swarm optimization. By pre-extracting all the current prune-able history information and storing them into a list, namely, to-prune-list, the overhead of both pruning strategies becomes small. This suggests that cNrGA can be extended to use in situations when the number of fitness evaluations is much larger than before with no significant effect on statistical performance. This widens the applicability of cNrGA to include more practical problems that require larger number of fitness evaluations before converging to the global optima.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-210
Number of pages22
JournalMemetic Computing
Issue number3
Early online date5 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work described in this paper was supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. CityU 125313). We thank Dr. Chi Kin Chow for suggesting that pruning can be done randomly on the discrete version of NrGA.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Binary space partition tree
  • Least recently used pruning
  • Non-revisiting genetic algorithms
  • Random pruning


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