Many important problem classes lead to large variations in fitness evaluation times, such as is often the case in Genetic Programming where the time complexity of executing one individual may differ greatly from that of another. Asynchronous Parallel Evolutionary Algorithms (APEAs) omit the generational synchronization step of traditional EAs which work in well-defined cycles. This paper provides an empirical analysis of the scalability improvements obtained by applying APEAs to such problem classes, aside from the speed-up caused merely by the removal of the synchronization step. APEAs exhibit bias towards individuals with shorter fitness evaluation times, because they propagate faster. This paper demonstrates how this bias can be leveraged in order to provide a unique type of "elitist" parsimony pressure which rewards more efficient solutions with equal solution quality.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/daniel-tauritz/20/