Towards Automatic Discovery of Building Blocks in Genetic Programming

Justinian P. Rosca

This paper presents an algorithm for the discovery of building blocks in genetic programming (GP) called adaptive representation through learning (ARL). The central idea ARL is the adaptation of the problem representation, by extending the set of terminals and functions with a set of evolvable subroutines. The set of subroutines extracts common knowledge emerging during the evolutionary process and acquires the necessary structure for solving the problem. ARL supports subroutine creation and deletion. Subroutine creation or discovery is performed automatically based on the differential parent-offspring fitness and block activation. Subroutine deletion relies on a utility measure similar to schema fitness over a window of past generations. The techuique described is tested on the problem of controlling an agent in a dynamic and non-deterministic environment. The automatic discovery of subroutines can help scale up the GP technique to complex problems.

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