Operator equalisation for bloat free genetic programming and a survey of bloat control methods

Sara Silva, Stephen Dignum, Leonardo Vanneschi

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47 Citations (Scopus)


Bloat can be defined as an excess of code growth without a corresponding improvement in fitness. This problem has been one of the most intensively studied subjects since the beginnings of Genetic Programming. This paper begins by briefly reviewing the theories explaining bloat, and presenting a comprehensive survey and taxonomy of many of the bloat control methods published in the literature through the years. Particular attention is then given to the new Crossover Bias theory and the bloat control method it inspired, Operator Equalisation (OpEq). Two implementations of OpEq are described in detail. The results presented clearly show that Genetic Programming using OpEq is essentially bloat free. We discuss the advantages and shortcomings of each different implementation, and the unexpected effect of OpEq on overfitting. We observe the evolutionary dynamics of OpEq and address its potential to be extended and integrated into different elements of the evolutionary process.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)197-238
JournalGenetic Programming And Evolvable Machines
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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