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Evolutionary Computation

Spring 1993, Vol. 1, No. 1, Pages 51-76
(doi: 10.1162/evco.1993.1.1.51)
© 1993 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A Hierarchy of Evolution Programs: An Experimental Study
Article PDF (1.36 MB)

In this paper we present the concept of evolution programs and discuss a hierarchy of such programs for a particular problem. We argue that (for a particular problem) stronger evolution programs (in terms of the problem-specific knowledge incorporated in the system) should perform better than weaker ones. This hypothesis is based on a number of experiments and a simple intuition that problem-specific knowledge enhances an algorithm's performance; at the same time it narrows the applicability of an algorithm. Trade-offs between the effort of finding an effective representation for general-purpose evolution programs and the effort of developing more specialized systems are also discussed.