Enhanced Optimization with Composite Objectives and Novelty Pulsation (2020)
Hormoz Shahrzad, Babak Hodjat, Camille Dolle, Andrei Denissov, Simon Lau, Donn Goodhew, Justin Dyer, and Risto Miikkulainen
An important benefit of multi-objective search is that it maintains a diverse population of candidates, which helps in deceptive problems in particular. Not all diversity is useful, however: candidates that optimize only one objective while ignoring others are rarely helpful. A recent solution is to replace the original objectives by their linear combinations, thus focusing the search on the most useful tradeoffs between objectives. To compensate for the loss of diversity, this transformation is accompanied by a selection mechanism that favors novelty. This paper improves this approach further by introducing novelty pulsation, i.e. a systematic method to alternate between novelty selection and local optimization. In the highly deceptive problem of discovering minimal sorting networks, it finds state-of-the-art solutions significantly faster than before. In fact, our method so far has established a new world record for the 20-lines sorting network with 91 comparators. In the real-world problem of stock trading, it discovers solutions that generalize significantly better on unseen data. Composite Novelty Pulsation is therefore a promising approach to solving deceptive real-world problems through multi-objective optimization.
To Appear In Genetic Programming Theory and Practice XVII, 2020. Springer, New York.

Babak Hodjat Collaborator babak [at] cognizant com
Risto Miikkulainen Faculty risto [at] cs utexas edu
Hormoz Shahrzad Masters Alumni hormoz [at] cognizant com