Differential Evolution (DE) is a simple, yet highly competitive real parameter optimizer in the family of evolutionary algorithms. A significant contribution of its robust performance is attributed to its control parameters, and mutation strategy employed, proper settings of which, generally lead to good solutions. Finding the best parameters for a given problem through the trial and error method is time consuming, and sometimes impractical. This calls for the development of adaptive parameter control mechanisms. In this work, we investigate the impact and efficacy of adapting mutation strategies with or without adapting the control parameters, and report the plausibility of this scheme. Backed with empirical evidence from this and previous works, we first build a case for strategy adaptation in the presence as well as in the absence of parameter adaptation. Afterwards, we propose a new mutation strategy, and an adaptive variant SA-SHADE which is based on a recently proposed self-adaptive memory based variant of Differential evolution, SHADE. We report the performance of SA-SHADE on 28 benchmark functions of varying complexity, and compare it with the classic DE algorithm (DE/Rand/1/bin), and other state-of-the-art adaptive DE variants including CoDE, EPSDE, JADE, and SHADE itself. Our results show that adaptation of mutation strategy improves the performance of DE in both presence, and absence of control parameter adaptation, and should thus be employed frequently.

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