Dave, how much data and what time frame are you generating over? And how do you define an "acceptable" strategy?
Are you using OOS to visually validate the results?
I'm just starting to experiment with EA Studio. I am running eight instances on my rented server over a 14 year period on M30. 50% OOS. I am searching by SQN.
Max Amb. Bars: 10
Min Net Profit: 10
Min trades: 600
Min SQN: 1.6
Min win/loss: 0.3
Max Balance Deviation: 15
Max Stagnation %: 15
Max Equity DD%: 12 (too high)
Some of these values will be radically adjusted when I better figure out what I'm doing. I am particularly interested in toying around with "Max Balance Deviation".
I include "Optimization" (defaults), "All data validation", and "Monte Carlo validation" (100 count; 85% validated tests).
Every so often, I sort strategies by Max DD% and go each manually, give the equity graph a visual check, and remove any offensive-looking strategies. I pay particular attention to the OOS period, giving a bit more weight to the most recent period. If it has stagnated for a longer period at the end, I will remove it. And of course if the OOS is bad in general, I remove it.
Many beautiful-looking strategies (as well as some on the borderline) remain after only one day's execution.
I then need to run the OOS periods through the Validation tool. Then, I will run the strategies through the optimizer, but I don't know whether I want to optimize over the entire data sample, only the OOS period, or perhaps even only a portion of the most recent OOS.