Verel S, Daolio F, Ochoa G & Tomassini M (2012) Local optima networks with escape edges. In: Hao J, Legrand P, Collet P, Monmarche N, Lutton E & Schoenauer M (eds.) Artificial Evolution: 10th International Conference, Evolution Artificielle, EA 2011, Angers, France, October 24-26, 2011, Revised Selected Papers. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 7401. EA 2011 - 10th International Conference on Artificial Evolution/Evolution Artificielle, Angers, France, 24.10.2011-26.10.2011. Berin Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 49-60. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-35533-2_5#; https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35533-2_5
Abstract This paper proposes an alternative definition of edges (escape edges) for the recently introduced network-based model of combinatorial landscapes: Local Optima Networks (LON). The model compresses the information given by the whole search space into a smaller mathematical object that is the graph having as vertices the local optima and as edges the possible weighted transitions between them. The original definition of edges accounted for the notion of transitions between the basins of attraction of local optima. This definition, although informative, produced densely connected networks and required the exhaustive sampling of the basins of attraction. The alternative escape edges proposed here do not require a full computation of the basins. Instead, they account for the chances of escaping a local optima after a controlled mutation (e.g. 1 or 2 bit-flips) followed by hill-climbing. A statistical analysis comparing the two LON models for a set of NK landscapes, is presented and discussed. Moreover, a preliminary study is presented, which aims at validating the LON models as a tool for analyzing the dynamics of stochastic local search in combinatorial optimization.