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Evolutionary Computation

Winter 2004, Vol. 12, No. 4, Pages 461-493
(doi: 10.1162/1063656043138941)
© 2004 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Structural Search Spaces and Genetic Operators
Article PDF (221.61 KB)

In a previous paper (Rowe et al., 2002), aspects of the theory of genetic algorithms were generalised to the case where the search space, Ω, had an arbitrary group action defined on it. Conditions under which genetic operators respect certain subsets of Ω were identified, leading to a generalisation of the term schema. In this paper, search space groups with more detailed structure are examined. We define the class of structural crossover operators that respect certain schemata in these groups, which leads to a generalised schema theorem. Recent results concerning the Fourier (or Walsh) transform are generalised. In particular, it is shown that the matrix group representing Ω can be simultaneously diagonalised if and only if Ω is Abelian. Some results concerning structural crossover and mutation are given for this case.