Evolving Control Structures with Automatically Defined Macros

Lee Spector

Koza has previously shown that the power of a genetic programming system can often be enhanced by allowing for the simultaneous evolution of a main program and a collection of automatically defined functions (ADFs). In this paper I show how related techniques can be used to simultaneously evolve a collection of automatically defined macros (ADMs). I show how ADMs can be used to produce new control structures during the evolution of a program, and I present data showing that ADMs sometimes provide a greater benefit than do ADFs. I discuss the characteristics of problems that may benefit most from the use of ADMs, or from architectures that include both ADFs and ADMs, and I discuss directions for further research.

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