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In this paper, a knowledge based genetic algorithm (GA) for path planning of a mobile robot is proposed, which uses problem-specific genetic algorithms for robot path planning instead of the standard GAs. The proposed knowledge based genetic algorithm incorporates the domain knowledge into its specialized operators, where some also combine a local search technique. The proposed genetic algorithm also features a unique and simple path representation and a simple but effective evaluation method. The knowledge based genetic algorithm is capable of finding an optimal or near-optimal robot path in both complex static and dynamic environments. The effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed genetic algorithm is demonstrated by simulation studies. The irreplaceable role of the specialized genetic operators in the proposed GA for solving robot path planning problem is demonstrated by a comparison study.