Several local search algorithms for real-valued domains (axis parallel line search, Nelder-Mead simplex search, Rosenbrock's algorithm, quasi-Newton method, NEWUOA, and VXQR) are described and thoroughly compared in this article, embedding them in a multi-start method. Their comparison aims (1) to help the researchers from the evolutionary community to choose the right opponent for their algorithm (to choose an opponent that would constitute a hard-to-beat baseline algorithm), (2) to describe individual features of these algorithms and show how they influence the algorithm on different problems, and (3) to provide inspiration for the hybridization of evolutionary algorithms with these local optimizers. The recently proposed Comparing Continuous Optimizers (COCO) methodology was adopted as the basis for the comparison. The results show that in low dimensional spaces, the old method of Nelder and Mead is still the most successful among those compared, while in spaces of higher dimensions, it is better to choose an algorithm based on quadratic modeling, such as NEWUOA or a quasi-Newton method.

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