Strategy optimization is the process of testing a range of strategy input values to find the combination that gives the best results based on historical data using a specified fitness function. Optimization is used to enhance a trading idea, it cannot be used to develop one.
When one or more strategies are applied to a Chart Analysis window, they will display entry and exit orders on the chart and the simulated trading activity can be reviewed in the Strategy Performance Report. Most strategies contain numeric inputs and if so, these inputs can be optimized in an attempt to improve the overall behavior of the entire strategy based on a specified fitness function. By default, TradeStation uses the All:Net Profit fitness function to find a combination of input values that results in the best net profit over all strategy trades. To change the fitness function on which the strategy optimization is based, see Chart Analysis Preferences - Strategy.
Only numeric inputs can be optimized. The optimization process calls for TradeStation to change the value of at least one input, calculate the strategy rules, change the input value by a specified increment and reapply, calculate, etc., until the last value is reached. The user must specify the beginning and ending values along with the change increment for each input to be optimized.
The combination of input values that provides the best results, based on the selected fitness function, will be automatically applied to the chart. A report listing test results is available in the Strategy Optimization Report. You can apply a different combination of input values tested during the optimization process by double-clicking the report row number. For more information, see Applying Different Optimization Test Results to Your Chart.
Optimizing Strategies on a Chart
Walk-Forward Optimizer (WFO)
About Extended Historical Data
Advanced Chart Types - Strategy Back-Testing & Automation
Calculating Orders on a Realtime/Delayed Basis