Friday, September 18, 2009

Balance and perfection

Basic genetic algorithms are very simple in my opinion. However, it has become apparent that the way they are tested and selected can determine how well the outcome is. Naturally, one might think that simply choosing the best based on how it faces against the rest of the population, or some standard.

The problem with choosing one standard for the program to beat, is that the single standard may not be as good as it can get. Perhaps there are other scenarios that the algorithms will not be able to handle that were never presented.

To fix this problem I decided to make the population play against each other, that way they are exposed to many strategies.... but there is a much more interesting problem with this

If the population fight against itself, there is the possibility it will keep going until something reaches the perfect algorithm, and then the gene pool is dominated by it.

However, there is a much much much more probable scenario.
Perhaps the system will improve consistently, but only until the system reaches Balance. what if it gets to the point where all the algorithms seem to do equally well as each other, not exactly, but enough to significantly stall the process. for instance, some strategies may develop that are counters to other organisms strategies, but these strategies are all intertwined in some simple or not so simple order. These strategies will always beat each other out and play out in the same way. An equilibrium will be established, nothing will truly improve as one cannot say which of these strategies are truly 'better'

There has to be a way to shake up the balance, perhaps my random idea will be enough, but I must consider the probable fact that it will not. What can make the balance fall apart without abandoning strategies completely?

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