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A Genetic Algorithm Tutorial

A Genetic Algorithm Tutorial

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Published by manojkumar
Darel Whitley, Computer Science Department, Colorado State University
Darel Whitley, Computer Science Department, Colorado State University

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Published by: manojkumar on Oct 14, 2007
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07/19/2013

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AGeneticAlgorithmTutoria
DarrellWhitley ComputerScienceDepartment,ColoradoStateUniversitFortCollins,CO80523whitley@cs.colostate.edu 
Abstrac
Thistutorialcoversthecanonicalgeneticalgorithmaswellasmoreexperimental formsofgeneticalgorithms,includingparallelislandmodelsandparallelcellulargenetialgorithms.Thetutorialalsoillustratesgeneticsearchbyhyperplanesampling.The theoreticalfoundationsofgeneticalgorithmsarereviewed,includetheschematheoreaswellasrecentlydevelopedexactmodelsofthecanonicalgeneticalgorithm
Keywords
GeneticAlgorithms,Search,ParallelAlgorithm
1Introductio
GeneticAlgorithm
areafamilyofcomputationalmodelsinspiredbyevolution.Thesalgorithmsencodeapotentialsolutiontoaspecicproblemonasimplechromosome-like datastructureandapplyrecombinationoperatorstothesestructuressoastopreservecritical information.Geneticalgorithmsareoftenviewedasfunctionoptimizers,althoughtherange ofproblemstowhichgeneticalgorithmshavebeenappliedisquitebroad. Animplementationofageneticalgorithmbeginswithapopulationof(typicallyrandomchromosomes.Onethenevaluatesthesestructuresandallocatesreproductiveopportunities insuchawaythatthosechromosomeswhichrepresentabettersolutiontothetargetproblem aregivenmorechancesto\reproduce"thanthosechromosomeswhicharepoorersolutionsThe\goodness"ofasolutionistypicallydenedwithrespecttothecurrentpopulation. Thisparticulardescriptionofageneticalgorithmisintentionallyabstractbecauseisomesense,theter
geneticalgorithm 
hastwomeanings.Inastrictinterpretation, 
thgeneticalgorith
referstoamodelintroducedandinvestigatedbyJohnHolland(1975)and bystudentsofHolland(e.g.,DeJong,1975).Itisstillthecasethatmostoftheexisting theoryforgeneticalgorithmsapplieseithersolelyorprimarilytothemodelintroducedby Holland,aswellasvariationsonwhatwillbereferredtointhispaperas 
thecanonical geneticalgorithm 
.Recenttheoreticaladvancesinmodelinggeneticalgorithmsalsoapplprimarilytothecanonicalgeneticalgorithm(Vose,1993)Inabroaderusageoftheterm,ageneticalgorithmisanypopulation-basedmodelthat usesselectionandrecombinationoperatorstogeneratenewsamplepointsinasearchspaceManygeneticalgorithmmodelshavebeenintroducedbyresearcherslargelyworkingfrom 
 
anexperimentalperspective.ManyoftheseresearchersareapplicationorientedandartypicallyinterestedingeneticalgorithmsasoptimizationtoolsThegoalofthistutorialistopresentgeneticalgorithmsinsuchawaythatstudentsnew tothiseldcangraspthebasicconceptsbehindgeneticalgorithmsastheyworkthrougthetutorial.Itshouldallowthemoresophisticatedreadertoabsorbthismaterialwitrelativeease.Thetutorialalsocoverstopics,suchasinversion,whichhavesometimesbeen misunderstoodandmisusedbyresearchersnewtotheeld. Thetutorialbeginswithaverylowleveldiscussionofoptimizationtobothintroducebasiideasinoptimizationaswellasbasicconceptsthatrelatetogeneticalgorithms.Insectionacanonicalgeneticalgorithmisreviewed.Insection3theprincipleofhyperplanesampling isexploredandsomebasiccrossoveroperatorsareintroduced.Insection4variousversions oftheschematheoremaredevelopedinastepbystepfashionandothercrossoveroperatorarediscussed.Insection5binaryalphabetsandtheireectsonhyperplanesamplingarconsidered.Insection6abriefcriticismoftheschematheoremisconsideredandinsection 7anexactmodelofthegeneticalgorithmisdeveloped.Thelastthreesectionsofthe tutorialcoveralternativeformsofgeneticalgorithmsandevolutionarycomputationalmodelsincludingspecializedparallelimplementations
1.1EncodingsandOptimizationProblem
Usuallythereareonlytwomaincomponentsofmostgeneticalgorithmsthatareprobledependent:theproblemencodingandtheevaluationfunction. Consideraparameteroptimizationproblemwherewemustoptimizeasetofvariableseithertomaximizesometargetsuchasprot,ortominimizecostorsomemeasureoferror.Wmightviewsuchaproblemasablackboxwithaseriesofcontroldialsrepresentingdierent parameters;theonlyoutputoftheblackboxisavaluereturnedbyanevaluationfunction indicatinghowwellaparticularcombinationofparametersettingssolvestheoptimization problem.Thegoalistosetthevariousparameterssoastooptimizesomeoutput.Inmortraditionalterms,wewishtominimize(ormaximize)somefunction 
;
;:::;X 
)MostusersofgeneticalgorithmstypicallyareconcernedwithproblemsthatarenonlinearThisalsooftenimpliesthatitisnotpossibletotreateachparameterasanindependent variablewhichcanbesolvedinisolationfromtheothervariables.Thereareinteractions suchthatthecombinedeectsoftheparametersmustbeconsideredinordertomaximizeor minimizetheoutputoftheblackbox.Inthegeneticalgorithmcommunity,theinteraction betweenvariablesissometimesreferredtoasepistasisTherstassumptionthatistypicallymadeisthatthevariablesrepresentingparametercanberepresentedbybitstrings.Thismeansthatthevariablesarediscretizedinanpriorifashion,andthattherangeofthediscretizationcorrespondstosomepowerof2.For example,with10bitsperparameter,weobtainarangewith1024discretevalues.Ifthe parametersareactuallycontinuousthenthisdiscretizationisnotaparticularproblem.Thiassumes,ofcourse,thatthediscretizationprovidesenoughresolutiontomakeitpossibletadjusttheoutputwiththedesiredlevelofprecision.Italsoassumesthatthediscretization isinsomesenserepresentativeoftheunderlyingfunction. 
 
Ifsomeparametercanonlytakeonanexactnitesetofvaluesthenthecodingissue becomesmoredicult.Forexample,whatifthereareexactly1200discretevalueswhiccanbeassignedtosomevariabl
.Weneedatleast11bitstocoverthisrange,buthiscodesforatotalof2048discretevalues.The848unnecessarybitpatternsmayresulinnoevaluation,adefaultworstpossibleevaluation,orsomeparametersettingsmaybe representedtwicesothatallbinarystringsresultinalegalsetofparametervalues.Solving suchcodingproblemsisusuallyconsideredtobepartofthedesignoftheevaluationfunction. Asidefromthecodingissue,theevaluationfunctionisusuallygivenaspartoftheproblem description.Ontheotherhand,developinganevaluationfunctioncansometimesinvolve developingasimulation.Inothercases,theevaluationmaybeperformancebasedand mayrepresentonlyanapproximateorpartialevaluation.Forexample,consideracontrol applicationwherethesystemcanbeinanyoneofanexponentiallylargenumberofpossiblstates.Assumeageneticalgorithmisusedtooptimizesomeformofcontrolstrategy.Isuchcases,thestatespacemustbesampledinalimitedfashionandtheresultingevaluation ofcontrolstrategiesisapproximateandnoisy(c.f.,FitzpatrickandGrefenstette,1988)Theevaluationfunctionmustalsoberelativelyfast.Thisistypicallytrueforanyoptimizationmethod,butitmayparticularlyposeanissueforgeneticalgorithms.Sinceagenetialgorithmworkswithapopulationofpotentialsolutions,itincursthecostofevaluatingthipopulation.Furthermore,thepopulationisreplaced(allorinpart)onagenerationalbasisThemembersofthepopulationreproduce,andtheirospringmustthenbeevaluated.Ifitakes1hourtodoanevaluation,thenittakesover1yeartodo10,000evaluations.Thiwouldbeapproximately50generationsforapopulationofonly200strings
1.2HowHardisHard
Assumingtheinteractionbetweenparametersisnonlinear,thesizeofthesearchspaceirelatedtothenumberofbitsusedintheproblemencoding.Forabitstringencodingolength 
L
thesizeofthesearchspaceis
andformsahypercube.Thegeneticalgorithm samplesthecornersofthi
-dimensionalhypercube. Generally,mosttestfunctionsareatleast30bitsinlengthandmostresearcherswoulprobablyagreethatlargertestfunctionsareneeded.Anythingmuchsmallerrepresentsspacewhichcanbeenumerated.(Consideringforamomentthatthenationaldebtofthe UnitedStatesin1993isapproximately
4
dollars,
3
doesnotsoundquitesolarge.)Ocourse,theexpression
growsexponentiallywithrespectt
.Consideraproblemwitanencodingof400bits.Howbigistheassociatedsearchspace?AclassicintroductortextbookonArticialIntelligencegivesonecharacterizationofaspaceofthissize.Winston (1992:102)pointsoutthat
40
isagoodapproximationoftheeectivesizeofthesearchspace ofpossibleboardcongurationsinchess.(Thisassumestheeectivebranchingfactorateacpossiblemovetobe16andthatagameismadeupof100moves;1
10
=(
10
=
40
)Winstonstatesthatthisis\aridiculouslylargenumber.Infact,ifalltheatomsinthe universehadbeencomputingchessmovesatpicosecondratessincethebigbang(ifany)theanalysiswouldbejustgettingstarted.Thepointisthataslongasthenumberof\goodsolutions"toaproblemaresparsewitrespecttothesizeofthesearchspace,thenrandomsearchorsearchbyenumerationofalarge 

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