This is just an effort to help keep Joe’s thread focused and to help keep it from being derailed. People can use it or not. I hope they will.
CharlieM: Can someone explain to me, why is all of this not just a model of directed evolution? Surely it is set up to be directed towards a target?
Allan Miller: It gets towards the target by means of variation and selection of genotypes in the current population. The programmer does not direct it towards the target. Indeed, there would be no point in writing GAs for problem solution if it were simply a matter of specifying a target and directing the program to find it.
Consider a small modification – instead of distance from target, evaluate fitness by adding up the ASCII bits. Those with the greater sum are fitter than those with a lesser. There is no mention of a distant target – although it is clear that the program will converge on a string of all Zs, the program doesn’t know this. It is not drawn by, nor directed towards, that target. It is simply doing generational evaluation of fitter and less fit genotypes in the current population.