Over the last decade, memetic algorithms (MAs) have relied on the use of a variety of different methods as the local improvement procedure. Some recent studies on the choice of local search method employed have shown that this choice significantly affects the efficiency of problem searches. Given the restricted theoretical knowledge available in this area and the limited progress made on mitigating the effects of incorrect local search method choice, we present strategies for MA control that decide, at runtime, which local method is chosen to locally improve the next chromosome. The use of multiple local methods during a MA search in the spirit of Lamarckian learning is here termed Meta-Lamarckian learning. Two adaptive strategies for Meta-Lamarckian learning are proposed in this paper. Experimental studies with Meta-Lamarckian learning strategies on continuous parametric benchmark problems are also presented. Further, the best strategy proposed is applied to a real-world aerodynamic wing design problem and encouraging results are obtained. It is shown that the proposed approaches aid designers working on complex engineering problems by reducing the probability of employing inappropriate local search methods in a MA, while at the same time, yielding robust and improved design search performance
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