Reproducibility is important for having confidence in evolutionary machine learning algorithms. Although the focus of reproducibility is usually to recreate an aggregate prediction error score using fixed random seeds, this is not sufficient. Firstly, multiple runs of an algorithm, without a fixed random seed, should ideally return statistically equivalent results. Secondly, it should be confirmed whether the expected behaviour of an algorithm matches its actual behaviour, in terms of how an algorithm targets a reduction in prediction error. Confirming the behaviour of an algorithm is not possible when using a total error aggregate score. Using an error decomposition framework as a methodology for improving the reproducibility of results in evolutionary computation addresses both of these factors. By estimating decomposed error using multiple runs of an algorithm and multiple training sets, the framework provides a greater degree of certainty about the prediction error. Also, decomposing error into bias, variance due to the algorithm (internal variance), and variance due to the training data (external variance) more fully characterises evolutionary algorithms. This allows the behaviour of an algorithm to be confirmed. Applying the framework to a number of evolutionary algorithms shows that their expected behaviour can be different to their actual behaviour. Identifying a behaviour mismatch is important in terms of understanding how to further refine an algorithm as well as how to effectively apply an algorithm to a problem.

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