Saturday, September 3, 2011

Genetic Algorithm - A 'Walt Disney' Introduction - CodeProject

This is a great article from CodeProject. The article describes the difference between Genetic Algorithms and Heuristics. The article is primarily concerns computer software but these principles can be used to solve many problems. This is a great article.

Introduction to Article

Genetic Algorithms(G.A.) are a way of solving problems by mimicking the same processes mother nature uses. They use the same combination of selection, recombination and mutation to evolve a solution to a problem.
G.A falls in the family of Heuristics (O my God... another big word… :D). Heuristics differ from “traditional” algorithms in that you don’t specify how exactly to derive the answer, rather you specify where to search for it. Here is an illustration/explanation by Faisal Sikder:
Here is an algorithm for driving to someone’s house:
"Take Highway 167 south to Puyallup. Take the South Hill Mall exit and drive 4.5 miles up the hill. Turn right at the light by the grocery store, and then take the first left. Turn into the driveway of the large tan house on the left, at 714 North Cedar."
Here’s a heuristic for getting to someone’s house:
"Find the last letter we mailed you. Drive to the town in the return address. When you get to town, ask someone where our house is. Everyone knows us—someone will be glad to help you. If you can’t find anyone, call us from a public phone, and we’ll come get you!"

Genetic Algorithm - A 'Walt Disney' Introduction - CodeProject
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