Three Ways to Grow Designs: A Comparison of Embryogenies for an Evolutionary Design Problem

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Peter Bentley and Sanjeev Kumar: Three Ways to Grow Designs: A Comparison of Embryogenies for an Evolutionary Design Problem. Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, Vol. 1, pp. 35-43, Morgan Kaufmann, 13-17 July 1999.



This paper explores the use of growth processes, or embryogenies, to map genotypes to phenotypes within evolutionary systems. Following a summary of the significant features of embryogenies, the three main types of embryogenies in Evolutionary Computation are then identified and explained: external, explicit and implicit. An experimental comparison between these three different embryogenies and an evolutionary algorithm with no embryogeny is performed. The problem set to the four evolutionary systems is to evolve tessellating tiles. In order to assess the scalability of the embryogenies, the problem is increased in difficulty by enlarging the size of tiles to be evolved. The results are surprising, with the implicit embryogeny outperforming all other techniques by showing no significant increase in the size of the genotypes or decrease in accuracy of evolution as the scale of the problem is increased.

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