# Mixed Strategy May Outperform Pure Strategy: An Initial Study

In pure strategy meta-heuristics, only one search strategy is applied for all time. In mixed strategy meta-heuristics, each time one search strategy is chosen from a strategy pool with a probability and then is applied. An example is classical genetic algorithms, where either a mutation or crossover operator is chosen with a probability each time. The aim of this paper is to compare the performance between mixed strategy and pure strategy meta-heuristic algorithms. First an experimental study is implemented and results demonstrate that mixed strategy evolutionary algorithms may outperform pure strategy evolutionary algorithms on the 0-1 knapsack problem in up to 77.8 Complementary Strategy Theorem is rigorously proven for applying mixed strategy at the population level. The theorem asserts that given two meta-heuristic algorithms where one uses pure strategy 1 and another uses pure strategy 2, the condition of pure strategy 2 being complementary to pure strategy 1 is sufficient and necessary if there exists a mixed strategy meta-heuristics derived from these two pure strategies and its expected number of generations to find an optimal solution is no more than that of using pure strategy 1 for any initial population, and less than that of using pure strategy 1 for some initial population.

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