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In this paper we evolve the parameters of a proportional, integral, and derivative (PID) controller for an unstable, complex and nonlinear system. The individuals of the applied genetic algorithm (GA) are evaluated on the actual system rather than on a simulation of it, thus avoiding the ldquoreality gaprdquo. This makes implicit a formal model identification for the implementation of a simulator. This also calls for the GA to be approached in an unusual way, where we need to consider new aspects not normally present in the usual situations using an unnaturally consistent simulator for fitness evaluation. Although elitism is used in the GAs, no monotonic increase in fitness is exhibited by the algorithm. Instead, we show that the GApsilas individuals converge towards more robust solutions.
Date of Conference: 1-6 June 2008