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2 Research Perspective

The focus of this thesis is on understanding the genetic programming population, the ways it can be measured and the role it plays on guiding the search process. Specifically, the diversity of the population is analysed to uncover key features and relationships that make search successful. In the process of developing a better understanding of genetic programming, a clearer description of the dynamics of the algorithm emerges to facilitate and motivate future enhancements. The existing theoretical models of evolutionary algorithms are limited in use and applicability due to their complexity. Therefore, the majority of theoretical work has been derived from experimentation. The approach taken in this thesis is also based on the careful design, collection and analysis of experimental results.

S Gustafson 2004-05-20