Evolutionary Bilevel Optimization for Complex Control Tasks (2015)
Most optimization algorithms must undergo time consuming parameter adaptation in order to optimally solve complex, real-world control tasks. Parameter adaptation is inherently a bilevel optimization problem where the lower level objec- tive function is the performance of the control parameters discovered by an optimization algorithm and the upper level objective function is the performance of the algorithm given its parametrization. In this paper, a novel method called MetaEvolutionary Algorithm (MEA) is presented and shown to be capable of efficiently discovering optimal parameters for neuroevolution to solve control problems. In two chal- lenging examples, double pole balancing and helicopter hov- ering, MEA discovers optimized parameters that result in better performance than hand tuning and other automatic methods. Bilevel optimization in general and MEA in par- ticular, is thus a promising approach for solving difficult control tasks.
In Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO 2015), 8, Madrid, Spain, July 2015.

Jason Zhi Liang Masters Alumni jasonzliang [at] utexas edu
Risto Miikkulainen Faculty risto [at] cs utexas edu
Bilevel Optimization of the Helicopter Hovering Control TaskJason Zhi Liang and Risto Miikkulainen2015