Fitness Causes Bloat: Mutation

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Fitness Causes Bloat: Mutation
The problem of evolving, using mutation, an artificial ant to follow the Santa Fe trail is used to study the well known genetic programming feature of growth in solution length. Known variously as "bloat", "fluff" and increasing "structural complexity", this is often described in terms of increasing "redundancy" in the code caused by "introns". Comparison between runs with and without fitness selection pressure, backed by Price's Theorem, shows the tendency for solutions to grow in size is caused by fitness based selection. We argue that such growth is inherent in using a fixed evaluation function with a discrete but variable length representation. With simple static evaluation search converges to mainly finding trial solutions with the same fitness as existing trial solutions. In general variable length allows many more long representations of a given solution than short ones. Thus in search (without a length bias) we expect longe...
William B. Langdon, Riccardo Poli
Added 05 Aug 2010
Updated 05 Aug 2010
Type Conference
Year 1998
Authors William B. Langdon, Riccardo Poli
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