Testing the Robustness of the Genetic Algorithm on the Floating Building Block Representation

Robert K. Lindsay, Annie S. Wu

Recent studies on a floating building block representation for the genetic algorithm (GA) suggest that there are many advantages to using the floating representation. This paper investigates the behavior of the GA on floating representation problems in response to three different types of pressures: (1) a reduction in the amount of genetic material available to the GA during the problem solving process, (2) functions which have negative-valued building blocks, and (3) randomizing non-coding segments. Results indicate that the GA’s performance on floating representation problems is very robust. Significant reductions in genetic material (genome length) may be made with relatively small decrease in performance. The GA can effectively solve problems with negative building blocks. Randomizing non-coding segments appears to improve rather than harm GA performance.

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