We give a detailed analysis of the optimization time of the -Evolutionary Algorithm under two simple fitness functions (OneMax and LeadingOnes). The problem has been approached in the evolutionary algorithm literature in various ways and with different degrees of rigor. Our asymptotic approximations for the mean and the variance represent the strongest of their kind. The approach we develop is based on an asymptotic resolution of the underlying recurrences and can also be extended to characterize the corresponding limiting distributions. While most of our approximations can be derived by simple heuristic calculations based on the idea of matched asymptotics, the rigorous justifications are challenging and require a delicate error analysis.

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