### Patrick Surry (University of Edinburgh and Quadstone)

#### Formal algorithms + formal representations = search strategies

*Wednesday 24 June 1998 at 15.30, JCMB 6324*

##### Abstract

Most evolutionary algorithms use a fixed representation space. This
complicates their application to many problem domains, especially when
there are dependencies between problem variables (e.g. problems naturally
defined over permutations). This talk discusses a method for specifying
algorithms with respect to *abstract* representations, making them
completely independent of any *actual* representation or problem domain.
It also defines a procedure for generating a concrete representation from an
explicit *characterisation* of a problem domain which captures beliefs
about its structure. This allows arbitrary algorithms to be applied to
arbitrary problems yielding well-specified search strategies suitable for
implementation. The process is illustrated by showing how *identical*
algorithms can be applied to both the TSP and real parameter optimisation
to yield familiar (but superficially very different) concrete search
strategies.

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