Welcome to the EvoAI help page. I’ll guide you through how to use EvoAI to improve productivity when it comes to MT4 testing and optimisation.
Download and Installation
You can download EvoAI here, then run the downloaded installer package. It will look something like this:
Follow the onscreen instructions to install the EvoAI software which will put a link on the desktop and also the start programs list under EvoAI. If you don’t already have MT4 installed then this should be installed before running EvoAI, you can find the download link from here. Click on the EvoAI shortcut to launch the application.
The first thing to do once you have EvoAI running for the first time is to open the preferences screen by selecting it from the view menu. You are presented with the following options:
- Data Folder – Click this to open a folder selection window to change the default. This is the folder that is used for storage, which keep in mind that over time can become quite large when multiple pairs have been downloaded. Once changed MT4 initialisation will be required before optimisations can be performed.
- Daylight Savings Time – This is the DST for the broker server you are going to be trading on. This is important for any EAs that have timed trades.
- GMT Offset – This is the GMT offset for the broker server you are going to be trading on. This is the winter offset not the summer. This is important for any EAs that have timed trades.
- MT4 Path – This is the installed MT4 that you want to use for price data exports and optimisations. The EA list is pulled from this MT4 installation’s data folder.
- Account Currency – The currency of the account calculations when processing reports.
- Account Commission Per lot – The commission per lot in account currency, set to zero to disable.
- MT4 Demo Account Number 1 – The account number for the first demo login. This is required for MT4 optimisation, additional accounts will improve performance by alternating accounts.
- MT4 Demo Password 1 – The password for the first demo login.
- MT4 Demo Server 1 – The server url or ip for the first demo login, e.g. demo-mt4a.ig.com:443 or 220.127.116.11:443
- MT4 Demo Account Number 2 – The account number for the second demo login.
- MT4 Demo Password 2 – The password for the second demo login.
- MT4 Demo Server 2 – The server url or ip for the second demo login, e.g. demo-mt4a.ig.com:443 or 18.104.22.168:443
- MT4 Demo Account Number 3 – The account number for the third demo login.
- MT4 Demo Password 3 – The password for the third demo login.
- MT4 Demo Server 3 – The server url or ip for the third demo login, e.g. demo-mt4a.ig.com:443 or 22.214.171.124:443
If you need to find the broker server IP/URL you can find this in the MT4 data folder for the MT4 broker version. Browse to the MT4 data folder then the config folder which contains the srv files which can be opened with notepad and the IP/URL can be copied.
The History Manager is used for downloading and exporting tick data to MT4. Select the pairs from the list (Hold CTRL key and click to select multiple) and then click on the start date to select the start date of the data you wish to download then click the download button. Downloads are from a dedicated server using prepackaged data making it as fast as possible.
To view the downloaded data, select the pair from the list, select the timeframe, from and to dates then click the load data button. The tick data gets converted to time series data for display so large time spans can take some time to process so keep it in mind when viewing data in this way.
To export downloaded data to MT4 select the symbol, then the start and end dates, then select the required time frames and then click the export button.
The MT4 Reports screen is used to load MT4 .htm reports, analysing them and displays the results. In the future there will be an option to combine reports to see how EAs perform in combination across multiple pairs.
The MT4 Optimiser screen is used for walk forward optimisation of EAs to find settings that are likely to work going forward. You can select the following options:
- Symbol – This is the pair you wish to test with.
- Time Frame – This is the time frame to test with.
- Expert Advisor – This is the expert advisor to test, the list is pulled from the MT4 you chose in the preferences screen. If you want this to refresh because you installed a new EA then the easiest way is close the MT4 Optimiser screen and re-open.
- CPU Cores – This is the number of MT4 instances that will run at the same time, this can be up to the number of logical cores your PC has (This is detected automatically). If you set this to the maximum then it will use 100% of the CPU.
- Start Date – The start date of testing.
- End Date – The end date of testing.
- Optimisation Type – The type of optimsation and the stage count and size of each stage across the selected testing dates. Once a stage is completed bad settings are excluded and only positive results (Up to 50% of total results) are tested in the next stage.
- Account Balance – The account balance used for testing, 10000 is usually appropriate for testing most strategies.
- Spread – The spread used for testing.
- Model – The model used for testing, this can be Tick (Slow accurate), Control Point (Faster less accurate) or Open (Fastest worst accuracy).
- Additonal Time Frames – If the EA being tested uses bar data from a different time frame than the one being tested tick the required time frames, this exports the required HST files for the MT4 tester.
The first time you use the optimiser you will need to click the Initialise MT4 button, this is also required if you make changes to the server settings in preferences. This will trigger MT4 to load in the background and initialise the data folders and configure for testing.
Don’t worry about the way the instances of MT4 are setup, EvoAI manages the data folders and automatically installs EAs from your chosen MT4 installation selected in preferences. Tick data is automatically downloaded for the optimisation period and is exported to a shared data folder so there is no unnecessary data duplication.
Now that the MT4 instances are initialised the settings button and optimise button become available. Click the settings button to choose the EA settings to use for testing, this can take a few seconds first time as the settings are loaded from MT4. Tick the optimise check box for settings you wish to optimise having chosen start, step and stop parameters for them. It is currently only possible to optimise numeric properties. Once you have finished choosing settings click the save button.
Now that all settings have been chosen you can click the optimise button and start the optimisation. Results are listed in order of profit and the highest profit result is displayed. Once the optimisation is complete, you can select the results from the list to display the result on the graph to the right. Set files can then be exported for use with MT4 by selecting the result and clicking the “Export .set” button.
MT4 Optimiser Tips
I’ve found that there is a limit of about 12 copies of MT4 connected to a single demo account, so if you have more than 12 cpu threads and wish to use them you will need to use multiple demo accounts, possibly on different demo servers.
If you wish to optimise and use your computer at the same time it’s best to add a user to windows for this and setup EvoAI to run under that user then switch back to the user you normally use and it will run EvoAI in the background and MT4 doesn’t take focus when it loads.