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Emergent Phenomena in Genetic Programming

Lee Altenberg

In Proceedings of the Third Annual Conference on Evolutionary Programming, ed. Anthony V. Sebald and Lawrence J. Fogel. pp. 233-241. World Scientific, 1994.
Adaptation Selection Genetics Representation
Design via analysis S
Gradient ascent E
Classical GA, EP ESSS
Evolution Strategies ESE/SS
GA w/ modifiers ESE/SS
Artificial-Life EEE/SE/S
A rough categorization of emergent and specified properties of different adaptive systems. E=Emergent, S=Specified, –=Not Applicable

Evolutionary computation systems exhibit various emergent phenomena, primary of which is adaptation. In genetic programming, because of the indeterminate nature of the representation, the evolution of both recombination distributions and representations can emerge from the population dynamics. A review of ideas on these phenomena is presented, including theory on the evolution of evolvability through differential proliferation of subexpressions within programs. An analysis is given of a model of genetic programming dynamics that is supportive of the “Soft Brood Selection” conjecture, which was proposed as a means to counteract the emergence of highly conservative code, and instead favor highly evolvable code.