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Publication Detail
The Evolution of Size and Shape
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Langdon WB, Soule T, Poli R, Foster JA
  • Publisher:
    MIT Press
  • Publication date:
  • Place of publication:
    Cambridge, MA, USA
  • Pagination:
    163, 190
  • Chapter number:
  • Editors:
    Spector L,Langdon WB,Reilly U-MO,Angeline PJ
  • ISBN-10:
  • Book title:
    Advances in Genetic Programming 3
  • Notes:
The phenomenon of growth in program size in genetic programming populations has been widely reported. In a variety of experiments and static analysis we test the standard protective code explanation and find it to be incomplete. We suggest bloat is primarily due to distribution of fitness in the space of possible programs and because of this, in the absence of bias, it is in general inherent in any search technique using a variable length representation. We investigate the fitness landscape produced by program tree-based genetic operators when acting upon points in the search space. We show bloat in common operators is primarily due to the exponential shape of the underlying search space. Nevertheless we demonstrate new operators with considerably reduced bloating characteristics. We also describe mechanisms whereby bloat arises and relate these back to the shape of the search space. Finally we show our simple random walk entropy increasing model is able to predict the shape of evolved programs.
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