A New Schema and Landscape for Programs: The Santa Fe Ant Case Study

By yours truly and Dr Kaur.http://fav.me/d34dke5

Full paper available at: http://arxiv.org/abs/1312.1858

Abstract: This paper introduces a new schema and a landscape analysis based on executed instruction sequences, and showcases their capabilities by analyzing the structures and evolutionary dynamics of the Santa Fe Ant Problem. The textbook Santa Fe Ant model problem is particularly appropriate for this exercise because after two decades of extensive use and analyses with more conventional schema and landscape analyses, it still lacks a clear narrative of the program structures that are systematically used for fitness improvement, the geometries of those structures and their dynamics during optimization. We use our new schema and landscapes to detail systematic structural features that are the key to high fitness of ant programs. For the first time we detail the evolutionary dynamics of high fitness structures that takes place during Genetic Programming on the problem. We develop a new phenotypic variation method that tests our understanding of the landscape. We also develop a modified function set that tests our understanding of synchronization constraints we identify. We obtain favorable computational efforts compared to those in the literature, on testing the new variation and function set on both the Santa Fe Trail, and the more computationally demanding Los Altos Trail.


Complete Genotype to Phenotype Tables and Maps Now Online

The Maps and complete Genotype to Phenotype tables for Hierarchical If-and-only-if, as well as the Cartesian Genetic Programming maps and tables are now posted as web-pages on this blog. Please click on the links above to access them. The complete tables were not included in the Neutral Evolution and Mapping paper because of space considerations.

A penny for your thoughts (literally)

A scan of the brain using fMRI
Image via Wikipedia

There are companies developing devices that can read your brain’s output and use it to control external devices. The technology used is similar to that used by an MRI scanner; as with an MRI scanner these technologies have the potential of providing a wealth of benefits for health care. An example application is their use to aid people with missing limbs control artificial replacement.

These devices are getting cheaper (in the $100 range). They are being used to allow  people to interact with games and other software applications. The easy and cheap availability of such brain scanning devices however raises some ethical questions. As this emotiv systems presentation shows, these devices can inadvertently read your mind. seeing what are your likes and dislikes.

Such data in the hands of a commision-based salesman is scary. It is easy to imagine a website that can assembles  text and  pictures on the fly (based on your preferences) to get you to buy whatever is being sold. Worse still they can sell your thoughts, such that other companies know how to target you better.

That is scary.

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Search, Neutral Evolution and Mapping in Evolutionary Computing:2

Here is a pre-proof copy of my accepted paper: “Search, Neutral Evolution and Mapping in Evolutionary Computing: A Case Study of Grammatical Evolution”.

I would encourage you to read section X  (Analysis of related works) , to see its true implications.

I plan to do a series of posts on what this paper means for Evolutionary Computing, and to post some of the MATLAB code used in this work.

You might want to subscribe to my RSS feed.

“This paper is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author’s copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.”

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Note to Earth, Choose Your Standards Wisely!

Clock in the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, UK.
Image via Wikipedia

As the year rolls over I am a bit preoccupied with standards, especially that with regard to the measurement of time. There is this amazing Scientific American article that goes through why we have 60 minutes to the hour based on the Egyptian and Sumerian use of bases 12 and 60 respectively.

The point is that some standards do last for a long time. Even those that are ephemeral  get to influence other newer standards due to backward compatibility issues and economies of scale. The recent standards war between Blu-ray and HD DVD shows the politics and economic importance of choices of standards has not changed much since the days of VHS and Betamax. VHS (the poorer standard) won the earlier challenge. Blu-ray (which is more expensive but packs more data on disk than HD DVD) won the more recent battle.

So while we wait for the additional  leap second to usher in 2009, remember that the mechanics of time measurement, as well as a lot of other technical endeavors are based on standards whose choice might not be the most expedient. Such standards will however influence the technologies we use down the road.

Happy New Year folks!

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DARPA Math Challenges

These are good times for Artificial Intelligence research; DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has put out a request for proposals on 23 contemporary mathematical challenges that has the potential for changing the state of AI as we know it.

The challenges are:

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The Mathematics of the Brain.


The Dynamics of Networks.


Capture and Harness Stochasticity in Nature.


21st Century Fluids.


Biological Quantum Field Theory.


Computational Duality.


Occam’s Razor in Many Dimensions.


Beyond Convex Optimization.


What are the Physical Consequences of Perelman’s Proof of Thurston’s. Geometrization Theorem?


Algorithmic Origami and Biology.


Optimal Nanostructures.


The Mathematics of Quantum Computing, Algorithms, and Entanglement.


Creating a Game Theory that Scales.


An Information Theory for Virus Evolution.


The Geometry of Genome Space.


What are the Symmetries and Action Principles for Biology?


Geometric Langlands and Quantum Physics.


Arithmetic Langlands, Topology, and Geometry.


Settle the Riemann Hypothesis.


Computation at Scale.


Settle the Hodge Conjecture.


Settle the Smooth Poincare Conjecture in Dimension 4.


What are the Fundamental Laws of Biology?

I am partial to challenges 15 and 16 as they fall within areas of my doctoral research work. One result of this work is my paper detailing new perspectives on genotype-phenotype map geometries.

Challenges 3, 14, 20 and 23 also look very appealing. Please email me (dom_wilson at yahoo dot com) if you are looking for collaboration on any of the challenges.