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A placement algorithm, Genie, is presented for the assignment of modules to locations on chips. Genie is an adaptation of the genetic algorithm technique that has traditionally been a tool of the artificial intelligence community. The technique is a paradigm for examining a state space. It produces its solutions through the simultaneous consideration and manipulation of a set of possible solutions. The manipulations resemble the mechanics of natural evolution. For example, solutions are "mated" to produce "offspring" solutions. Genie has been extensively run on a variety of small test instances. Its solutions were observed to be quite good and in several cases optimal.