Recently a mechanism called stagnation detection was proposed that automatically adjusts the mutation rate of evolutionary algorithms when they encounter local optima. The so-called SD-(1+1) EA introduced by Rajabi and Witt (2022) adds stagnation detection to the classical (1+1) EA with standard bit mutation. This algorithm flips each bit independently with some mutation rate, and stagnation detection raises the rate when the algorithm is likely to have encountered a local optimum. In this article, we investigate stagnation detection in the context of the k-bit flip operator of randomized local search that flips k bits chosen uniformly at random and let stagnation detection adjust the parameter k. We obtain improved runtime results compared with the SD-(1+1) EA amounting to a speedup of at least (1-o(1))2πm, where m is the so-called gap size, that is, the distance to the next improvement. Moreover, we propose additional schemes that prevent infinite optimization times even if the algorithm misses a working choice of k due to unlucky events. Finally, we present an example where standard bit mutation still outperforms the k-bit flip operator with stagnation detection.

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