Sorting the Sortable from the Unsortable

Tracey B. McGrail, Robert W. McGrail

This article describes a discovery-based introduction to elementary genetic algorithms for students of introductory computer science via a series of programming laboratory exercises. The exercises focus on sorting weighted scores, a problem that is both accessible to the novice programmer and seemingly feasible by means of standard sorting methods. Students soon discover that standard, deterministic techniques prove insufficient and so must settle for approximation by genetic algorithm. Experimentation with this approach reveals the folly of sorting weighted scores.

Subjects: 1.9 Genetic Algorithms

Submitted: Feb 12, 2006

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