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Genetic Algorithms

- 22c 145, Chapter 4

It is a Search Technique

Natural Selection

- Limited number of resources
- Competition results in struggle for existence
- Success depends on fitness --
- fitness of an individual how well-adapted an

individual is to their environment. This is

determined by their genes (blueprints for their

physical and other characteristics). - Successful individuals are able to reproduce and

pass on their genes

When changes occur ...

- Previously fit (well-adapted) individuals will

no longer be best-suited for their environment - Some members of the population will have genes

that confer different characteristics than the

norm. Some of these characteristics can make

them more fit in the changing environment.

Genetic Change in Individuals

- Mutation in genes
- may be due to various sources (e.g. UV rays,

chemicals, etc.) - Start
- 1001001001001001001001

Location of Mutation

After Mutation 1001000001001001001001

Genetic Change in Individuals

- Recombination (Crossover)
- occurs during reproduction -- sections of genetic

material exchanged between two chromosomes

Recombination (Crossover)

Why Evolution Proves to be a Good Model for

Solving these Types of Problems

- Evolution is a method of searching for an

(almost) optimal solution - Possibilities -- all individuals
- Best solution -- the most fit or well-adapted

individual - Evolution is a parallel process
- Testing and changing of numerous species and

individuals occur at the same time (or, in

parallel) - Evolution can be seen as a method that designs

new (original) solutions to a changing environment

The Metaphor

- EVOLUTION
- Individual
- Fitness
- Environment

- PROBLEM SOLVING
- Candidate Solution
- Quality
- Problem

Genetic Algorithms

- Closely follows a biological approach to problem

solving - A simulated population of randomly selected

individuals is generated then allowed to evolve

Encoding the Problem

- Example Looking for a new site which is closest

to several nearby cities. - Express the problem in terms of a bit string

z (1001010101011100)

where the first 8 bits of the string represent

the X-coordinate and the second 8 bits represent

the Y-coordinate

Basic Genetic Algorithm

- Step 1. Generate a random population of n

individuals - Step 2. Assign a fitness value to each individual
- Step 3. Repeat until n children have been

produced - Choose 2 parents based on fitness proportional

selection - Apply genetic operators to copies of the parents
- Produce new chromosomes

Fitness Function

- For each individual in the population, evaluate

its relative fitness - For a problem with m parameters, the fitness can

be plotted in an m1 dimensional space

Genetic algorithms for 8-Queen Problem

6,7,2,4,7,5,8,8 7,5,2,5,1,4,4,7

6,7,2,5,1,4,4,7

Genetic algorithms

- Fitness function number of non-attacking pairs

of queens, the higher, the better (min 0, max

8 7/2 28) - 24/(24232011) 31
- 23/(24232011) 29 etc

Sample Search Space

- A randomly generated population of individuals

will be randomly distributed throughout the

search space

An Abstract Example

Distribution of Individuals in Generation 0

Distribution of Individuals in Generation N

Genetic Operators

- Cross-over
- Mutation

Production of New Chromosomes

- 2 parents give rise to 2 children

Generations

- As each new generation of n individuals is

generated, they replace their parent generation - To achieve the desired results, typically 500 to

5000 generations are required

The Evolutionary Cycle

Selection

Recombination

Mutation

Replacement

Ultimate Goal

- Each subsequent generation will evolve toward the

global maximum (or minimum) - After sufficient generations a near optimal

solution will be present in the population of

chromosomes

Example Find the max value of f(x1, , x100).

- Population real vectors of length 100.
- Mutation randomly replace a value in a vector.
- Combination Take the average of two vectors.

A Simple Example

- The Traveling Salesman Problem
- Find a tour of a given set of cities so that
- each city is visited only once
- the total distance traveled is minimized

Representation

- Representation is an ordered list of city
- numbers known as an order-based GA.
- 1) London 3) Dunedin 5) Beijing 7)

Tokyo - 2) Venice 4) Singapore 6) Phoenix 8)

Victoria - CityList1 (3 5 7 2 1 6 4 8)
- CityList2 (2 5 7 6 8 1 3 4)

Crossover

- Crossover combines inversion and recombination
- Parent1 (3 5 7 2 1 6 4 8)
- Parent2 (2 5 7 6 8 1 3 4)
- Child (5 8 7 2 1 6 3 4)
- Copy a randomly selected portion of Parent1 to

Child - Fill the blanks in Child with those numbers in

Parent2 from left to right, as long as there are

no duplication in Child. - This operator is called the Order1 crossover.

Mutation

- Mutation involves swapping two numbers of the

list -

- Before (5 8 7 2 1 6 3 4)
- After (5 8 6 2 1 7 3 4)

TSP Example 30 Cities

Solution i (Distance 941)

Solution j(Distance 800)

Solution k(Distance 652)

Best Solution (Distance 420)

Overview of Performance

Discrete Recombination

- Similar to crossover of genetic algorithms
- Equal probability of receiving each parameter

from each parent - (8, 12, 31, ,5) (2, 5, 23, , 14)
- (2, 12, 31, , 14)

Intermediate Recombination

- Often used to adapt the strategy parameters
- Each child parameter is the mean value of the

corresponding parent parameters - (8, 12, 31, ,5) (2, 5, 23, , 14)
- (5, 8.5, 27, , 9.5)

Tuning a GA

- Typical tuning parameters for a small problem
- Other concerns
- population diversity
- ranking policies
- removal policies
- role of random bias

Population size 50 100

Children per generation population size

Crossovers 0 3

Mutations lt 5

Generations 20 20,000

Domains of Application

- Numerical, Combinatorial Optimization
- System Modeling and Identification
- Planning and Control
- Engineering Design
- Data Mining
- Machine Learning
- Artificial Life

Drawbacks of GA

- Difficult to find an encoding for a problem
- Difficult to define a valid fitness function
- May not return the global maximum

Why use a GA?

- requires little insight into the problem
- the problem has a very large solution space
- the problem is non-convex
- does not require derivatives
- objective function need not be smooth
- variables do not need to be scaled
- fitness function can be noisy (e.g. process data)
- when the goal is a good solution

When NOT to use a GA?

- if global optimality is required
- if problem insight can
- significantly impact algorithm performance
- simplify problem representation
- if the problem is highly constrained
- if the problem is smooth and convex
- use a gradient-based optimizer
- if the search space is very small
- use enumeration

Online Searching (section 4.5)

- An online search agent operates by interleaving

computation and action. First, it takes action,

then it observes the environment and computes the

next action. - However, there is a penalty for sitting around

and computing too long. This is why we need

efficient methods. - Usually used in exploration situations.

Offline Search vs. Online Search

- Offline Search
- Knows the map of the situation
- Basically finds the shortest path knowing the

whole layout of the situation - Works like a GPS navigation system
- Online Search
- Doesnt know the map of the situation
- Has to explore and find out where to go, then

determine the shortest path - Works like a Roomba

Search Patterns

- Often, online search agents search using a

depth-first search pattern. This is usually the

most logical search method for an online search. - The search pattern must include whether or not

the state space is safely explorable. That is,

are there cliffs our robot friend will fall off? - Random walk method works, but not very well. It

takes exponentially many steps to find the goal. - Hill climbing search is by default an online

search method, but only keeps one state in memory

and cant go back. Depth-first is more efficient.

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