Questions tagged [evolutionary-algorithms]

For questions about evolutionary algorithms (EAs), which use mechanisms inspired by biological evolution, such as mutation, recombination, and/or selection. EAs comprise genetic algorithms (GAs), genetic programming (GP), evolution strategies (ES), neuroevolution (NE), and so on. EAs are a sub-field of evolutionary computation, which comprises also ant colony optimization or particle swarm optimization, among others.

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18
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5answers
5k views

What exactly are genetic algorithms and what sort of problems are they good for?

I've noticed that a few questions on this site mention genetic algorithms and it made me realize that I don't really know much about those. I have heard the term before, but it's not something I've ...
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2answers
4k views

How does novelty search work?

In this article, the author claims that guiding evolution by novelty alone (without explicit goals) can solve problems even better than using explicit goals. In other words, using a novelty measure as ...
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2answers
456 views

How should I encode the structure of a neural network into a genome?

For a deterministic problem space, I need to find a neural network with the optimal node and link structure. I want to use a genetic algorithm to simulate many neural networks to find the best network ...
10
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3answers
307 views

Has the spontaneous emergence of replicators been modeled in Artificial Life?

One of the cornerstones of The Selfish Gene (Dawkins) is the spontaneous emergence of replicators, i.e. molecules capable of replicating themselves. Has this been modeled in silico in open-ended ...
9
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3answers
352 views

Why is cross-over a part of genetic algorithms?

Genetic Algorithms has come to my attention recently when trying to correct/improve computer opponents for turn-based strategy computer games. I implemented a simple Genetic Algorithm that didn't use ...
9
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2answers
157 views

How do evolutionary algorithms have advantages over the conventional backpropagation methods?

How does employing evolutionary algorithms to design and train artificial neural networks have advantages over using the conventional backpropagation algorithms?
8
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1answer
1k views

What is the difference between reinforcement learning and evolutionary algorithms?

What is the difference between reinforcement learning (RL) and evolutionary algorithms (EA)? I am trying to understand the basics of RL, but I do not yet have practical experience with RL. I know ...
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6answers
3k views

How to evaluate a NEAT neural network?

I'm trying to write my own implementation of NEAT and I'm stuck on the network evaluate function, which calculates the output of the network. NEAT as you may know contains a group of neural networks ...
7
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3answers
690 views

More effective way to improve the heuristics of an AI... evolution or testing between thousands of pre-determined sets of heuristics?

I'm making a Connect Four game where my engine uses Minimax with Alpha-Beta pruning to search. Since Alpha-Beta pruning is much more effective when it looks at the best moves first (since then it can ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Is elitism preferred over non-elitism in the cross-over operator?

There are two potential approaches when performing cross-over operation in genetic algorithms. Use only the elites in the pool, probably the ones that are also going to be directly transferred to the ...
7
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2answers
3k views

How to create a good fitness function?

In genetic algorithms, a function called "fitness" (or "evaluation") function is used to determine the "fitness" of the chromosomes. Creating a good fitness function is one of the challenging tasks in ...
6
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1answer
187 views

What evolutionary algorithms are there that model epigenetics?

What evolutionary algorithms are there that model or incorporate some notion of epigenetics? What are the pros/cons of those approaches? Are there vast insufficiencies or wide-open questions about ...
6
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1answer
417 views

How does mating take place in NEAT?

In the Evolving Neural Networks through Augmenting Topologies (NEAT) paper it says (p. 110): The entire population is then replaced by the offspring of the remaining organisms in each species. ...
6
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2answers
154 views

Why does the fitness of my neural network to play tic-tac-toe keep oscillating?

I wrote a simple feed-forward neural network that plays tic-tac-toe: 9 neurons in input layers: 1 - my sign, -1 - opponent's sign, 0 - empty; 9 neurons in hidden layer: value calculated using ReLU; 9 ...
5
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3answers
341 views

Can neural networks evolve other neural networks?

Can neural networks change or evolve other neural networks? Also, could evolutionary algorithms be applied to evolve neural networks? For example, suppose that we have neural networks A and B. The ...
5
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2answers
1k views

What is a trap function in the context of a genetic algorithm?

What is a trap function in the context of a genetic algorithm? How is it related to the concepts of local and global optima?
5
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3answers
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What is the purpose of hidden nodes in neural network?

If I have a set of sensory nodes taking in information and a set of "action nodes" which determine the behavior of my robot, why do I need hidden nodes between them when I can let all sensory nodes ...
5
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4answers
7k views

What is the difference between "mutation" and "crossover"?

In the context of evolutionary computation, in particular genetic algorithms, there are two stochastic operations "mutation" and "crossover". What are the differences between them?
5
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3answers
152 views

Is it possible to separately evolve a part of the population?

In a classic example of a genetic algorithm, you would have a population and a certain amount of simulation time to evaluate it and breeding. Then proceed to the next generation. Is it possible, ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Does NEAT require only connection genes to be marked with a global innovation number?

Does NEAT require only connection genes to be marked with a global innovation number? From the NEAT paper Whenever a new gene appears (through structural mutation), a global innovation number is ...
5
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2answers
3k views

Is it possible to classify data using a genetic algorithm?

Is it possible to classify data using a genetic algorithm? For example, would it be possible to sort this database? Any example in Matlab?
5
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1answer
162 views

Why evolutionary training of neural networks is not popular?

Evolutionary algorithms are mentioned in some sources as a method to train a neural network (finding weights, not hyperparameters). However, I have not heard about one practical application of such an ...
5
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2answers
345 views

Do genetic algorithms also evolve?

After witnessing the rise of deep learning as automatic feature/pattern recognition over classic machine learning techniques, I had an insight that the more you automate at each level, the better the ...
5
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1answer
3k views

Several questions regarding the NEAT algorithm [closed]

I've recently read the paper Evolving Neural Networks through Augmenting Topologies which introduces NEAT. I am now trying to prototype it myself in JavaScript. However, I stumbled across a few ...
5
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1answer
864 views

When do mutations in NEAT occur?

I read through the Evolving Neural Networks through Augmenting Topologies (NEAT) paper. I understand the algorithm now, but one thing is still unclear to me. When does the mutation occur and how ...
5
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1answer
546 views

What happens if 2 genes have the same connection but a different innovation number?

I have read the Evolving Neural Networks through Augmenting Topologies (NEAT) paper, but some doubts are still bugging me, so I have two questions. When do mutations occur? Between which nodes? When ...
5
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1answer
495 views

What are examples of optimization problems that can be solved using genetic algorithms?

I'm trying to learn how genetic algorithms can solve optimization problems. I have already learned how genetic algorithms can solve the knapsack, TSP and set cover problems. I'm looking for some other ...
4
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2answers
472 views

What's the difference between biological and artificial evolution?

I am trying to understand the difference between biological and artificial evolution. If we look at it in terms of genetics, in both of them, the selection operation is a key term. What's the ...
4
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1answer
49 views

Does elitism cause premature convergence in genetic algorithms?

I have a genetic algorithm which is working fairly well. It's got all the standard operators, including initial random population, crossover ratio, mutation rate, degree of mutation, etc. This works ...
4
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2answers
165 views

What is the difference between genetic algorithms and evolutionary game theory algorithms?

What is the difference between genetic algorithms and evolutionary game theory algorithms?
4
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1answer
41 views

When would you use Evolutionary Strategies over Step-Based Reinforcement Learning

In Salimans et al, 2016, the authors argue that ES should be considered a competitive alternative to MDP-based RL algorithms like Q-Learning, TRPO. However, in practice, I notice that more often than ...
4
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1answer
90 views

What is the difference between evolutionary computation and evolutionary algorithms?

A book on evolutionary computation by De Jong mentions both the term evolutionary algorithms (EA) as well as evolutionary computation (EC). However, it remains unclear to me what the difference ...
4
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1answer
54 views

Are there any strategies that would help me visualize the 'behavior space' and make a novelty function?

In “Abandoning Objectives: Evolution through the Search for Novelty Alone”, it is explained how the novelty search is a function that is domain specific, depending on the differing behaviors that can ...
4
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1answer
54 views

Why do all nodes in a GP tree need to be the same type?

Context: I'm a complete beginner to evolutionary algorithms and genetic algorithms and programming. I'm currently taking a course about genetic algorithms and genetic programming. One of the concepts ...
4
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0answers
100 views

Why isn't the evolutionary Turing machine mainstream?

Given that recurrent neural networks are equivalent to a Turing machine, then why isn't the evolutionary Turing machine, e.g. described in the paper Evolution of evolution: Self-constructing ...
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3answers
255 views

Can an evolutionary algorithm adapt to a changing environment?

From this SE question: Will be AI able to adapt, to different environments and changes. This is my attempt at interpreting that question. Evolutionary algorithms are useful for solving ...
3
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1answer
130 views

How can genetic programming be used for path planning?

I have been reading quite a few papers, on genetic programming and its applications, in particular, chapter 10 of "Genetic Programming: An Introduction and Tutorial, with a Survey of Techniques ...
3
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2answers
102 views

Why do we apply the mutation operation after generating the offspring?

Why do we apply the mutation operation after generating the offspring, in genetic algorithms?
3
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1answer
100 views

How do I design a fitness function that weighs the importance of eating food?

Summary: I am teaching bots to pick food on a playing field. Some food is poisonous and some is good. Food Details: Poisonous food subtracts score points and good food adds. Food points vary based on ...
3
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1answer
540 views

How to design an AI that discovers more complex concepts on its own?

How would I go about designing a (relatively) simple AI that discovers and invents random more complex concepts on its own? For example, say I had a robot car. It doesn't know it's a car. It has ...
3
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1answer
171 views

In novelty search, are the novel structures or behaviour of the neural network rewarded?

I have been reading a lot lately about some very promising work coming out of Uber's AI Labs using mutation algorithms enhanced with novelty search to evolve deep neural nets. See the paper Safe ...
3
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2answers
97 views

Can the first emergence of consciousness in evolution be replicated in AI?

At some point in time during the evolution, because of some factors, some beings first started to become conscious of themselves and their surroundings. That conscious experience is beyond some mere ...
3
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1answer
765 views

How to represent the weights of a neural network as binary strings for a genetic algorithm?

I want to train my neural network by evolution, that is I want to recombine the weights of the best performing neural networks in each evolution cycle or generation. My initial instinct was to ...
3
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1answer
70 views

What does "unknown search spaces" mean in the context of Evolutionary Algorithms?

In the article Multi-Verse Optimizer: a nature-inspired algorithm for global optimization (DOI 10.1007/s00521-015-1870-7), it's written The results of the real case studies also demonstrate the ...
3
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1answer
260 views

What is the difference between a fitness function and a reward function?

In reinforcement learning (RL), the reward function (RF), which can be denoted as $r(s)$, $r(s, a)$, $r(s, a, s')$, $r(s, s')$ depending on its specific definition, provides the learning signal, which ...
3
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1answer
72 views

Are Genetic Algorithms suitable for problems like the Knuth problem?

We all know that Genetic Algorithms can give an optimal or near-optimal solution. So, in some problems like NP-hard ones, with a trade-off between time and optimal solution the near-optimal solution ...
3
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1answer
63 views

How accurate are neuroevolution algorithms in modelling organism evolution?

How accurate are neuro-evolution algorithms (such as NEAT) in modelling real organism evolution?
3
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4answers
2k views

Has the Fibonacci series or the golden ratio been applied in any way in AI?

I have been looking at the Fibonacci series, the golden ratio, and its uses in nature, like how flowers and animals grow based on the series. I was wondering whether we could use the Fibonacci series ...
3
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1answer
107 views

Is there a way to predict points on a map?

I have a data set with historical information of some events (let's say event A and event B),these events describe the discovery of land mines, the coordinates of the event and the date of the event; ...
3
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1answer
1k views

How do I write a good evaluation function for a board game?

I'm currently writing the Alpha-Beta pruning algorithm for a board game. Now I need to come up with a good evaluation function. The game is a bit like snakes and ladders (you have to finish the race ...