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Pages 925-932
First published 2 September 2013

Quantifying the Impact of Parameter Tuning on Nature-Inspired Algorithms

Matthew Crossley, Andy Nisbet, Martyn Amos


The problem of parameterization is often central to the effective deployment of nature-inspired algorithms. However, finding the optimal set of parameter values for a combination of problem instance and solution method is highly challenging, and few concrete guidelines exist on how and when such tuning may be performed. Previous work tends to either focus on a specific algorithm or use benchmark problems, and both of these restrictions limit the applicability of any findings. Here, we examine a number of different algorithms, and study them in a "problem agnostic" fashion (i.e., one that is not tied to specific instances) by considering their performance on fitness landscapes with varying characteristics. Using this approach, we make a number of observations on which algorithms may (or may not) benefit from tuning, and in which specific circumstances.