The Trader offers four different optimization methods. Evolution strategies is the default because it works best on a wide range of complex problems. Swarm is used for fine tuning a model, and for less complex problems. GeneHunter is very similar to Evolution Strategies.
All three of these methods don’t process in increments or in any orderly fashion, so you don’t know if or when the Trader has exhausted all possibilities. NeuroShell just stops optimization after some number of generations pass without better results. Therefore you can stop optimization early if you find it has obtained good enough results. If you want optimization to continue for a longer period, you can select the Modify Trading Strategy Parameters, and again the advanced tab, and you can specify a number of minutes to optimize. For Predictions go to Modify Prediction Parameters and the Optimization tab, and again you can specify a number of minutes.
The Brute Force Optimization should only be used when all parameters are integers, and there are only two or three parameters total.