Generative Representations for Evolving Families of Designs

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Gregory S. Hornby: Generative Representations for Evolving Families of Designs. Genetic and Evolutionary Computation – GECCO-2003, LNCS, Vol. 2724, pp. 1678-1689, Springer-Verlag, 12-16 July 2003.



Since typical evolutionary design systems encode only a single artifact with each individual, each time the objective changes a new set of individuals must be evolved. When this objective varies in a way that can be parameterized, a more general method is to use a representation in which a single individual encodes an entire class of artifacts. In addition to saving time by preventing the need for multiple evolutionary runs, the evolution of parameter-controlled designs can create families of artifacts with the same style and a reuse of parts between members of the family. In this paper an evolutionary design system is described which uses a generative representation to encode families of designs. Because a generative representation is an algorithmic encoding of a design, its input parameters are a way to control aspects of the design it generates. By evaluating individuals multiple times with different input parameters the evolutionary design system creates individuals in which the input parameter controls specific aspects of a design. This system is demonstrated on two design substrates: neural-networks which solve the 3/5/7-parity problem and three-dimensional tables of varying heights.

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