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Representation and structural difficulty in genetic programming

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3 Author(s)
Nguyen Xuan Hoai ; Dept. of Inf. Technol., Vietnamese Mil. Tech. Acad., Ha Noi, Vietnam ; R. I. McKay ; D. Essam

Standard tree-based genetic programming suffers from a structural difficulty problem in that it is unable to search effectively for solutions requiring very full or very narrow trees. This deficiency has been variously explained as a consequence of restrictions imposed by the tree structure or as a result of the numerical distribution of tree shapes. We show that by using a different tree-based representation and local (insertion and deletion) structural modification operators, that this problem can be almost eliminated even with trivial (stochastic hill-climbing) search methods, thus eliminating the above explanations. We argue, instead, that structural difficulty is a consequence of the large step size of the operators in standard genetic programming, which is itself a consequence of the fixed-arity property embodied in its representation.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 2 )