For many years it has been a challenge to analyze the time complexity of Genetic Algorithms (GAs) using stochastic selection together with crossover and mutation. This paper presents a rigorous runtime analysis of the well-known Simple Genetic Algorithm (SGA) for OneMax. It is proved that the SGA has exponential runtime with overwhelming probability for population sizes up to μ⩽n1/8−εμ⩽n1/8−ε for some arbitrarily small constant ε and problem size n. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time non-trivial lower bounds are obtained on the runtime of a standard crossover-based GA for a standard benchmark function. The presented techniques might serve as a first basis towards systematic runtime analyses of GAs.
Theoretical Computer Science, 2014, Vol 545, p. 2-19