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This paper presents the development of an active vibration control (AVC) mechanism using real-coded genetic algorithm (RCGA) optimization. The approach is realized with single-input single-output (SISO) and single-input multiple-output (SIMO) control configurations in a flexible plate structure. A simulation environment characterizing a thin, square plate, with all edges clamped, is developed using the finite difference (FD) method as a platform for test and verification of the developed control approach. Tests are carried out with different disturbance signal types, namely random and finite duration step. The control design comprises a direct optimization of the controller parameters based on minimization of the error (observed) signal. The RCGA is formulated with a fitness function based on mean square of the observed vibration. The performance of the system is assessed and analysed both in the time and frequency domains and it is demonstrated that the proposed scheme reduces vibration of the flexible plate significantly.