Duplication of Coding Segments in Genetic Programming

Thomas Haynes

Research into the utility of non-coding segments, or introns, in genetic-based encodings has shown that they expedite the evolution of solutions in domains by protecting building blocks against destructive crossover. We consider a genetic programming system where non-coding segments can be removed, and the resultant chromosomes returned into the population. This parsimonious repair leads to premature convergence, since as we remove the naturally occurring non-coding segments, we strip away their protective backup feature. We then duplicate the coding segments in the repaired chromosomes, and place the modified chromosomes into the population. The duplication method significantly improves the learning rate in the domain we have considered. We also show that this method can be applied to other domains.

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