Class Description

An introduction to a wide variety of robust optimization algorithms based on the theme of nature inspired optimization techniques. This is a hands on class. There will be lots of programming. GAs, GPs, ESs, EPs, EDAs, etc will be covered. Theory including representations, landscapes, code bloat, and problem structure will be discussed. We will play with some special techniques such as predator/prey. Most of all, we will try to have fun. :-)

Time: 11:00-12:30 TTh
Location: JEB 25 and Engineering Outreach
Tests: None
Final: None
Textbook: Introduction to Evolutionary Computation, 2nd Ed.
by A. E. Eiben and J. E. Smith, ISBN: 978-3662448731

Sample Syllabus (links not live)

This syllabus is an estimate of what we might cover this semester. The class varies from semester to semester to reflect new and interesting topics.


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Topics/Links Assignments Comments
wk 1Aug 26 Evolution as search and the strength of evolution as a technique Read Chapter 1  
wk 2Sep 2 The nature and relationship of landscapes, operators, representations. Intro to local search Assignment 1 [pdf]  
wk 3Sep 9 Simulated annealing, memory and taboo search Read Chapter 2 NO CLASS ON MONDAY - LABOR DAY
wk 4Sep 16 landscapes and representation, start GAs Assignment 2 [pdf]  
wk 5Sep 23 Genetic Algorithms as population based search Read Chapter 3  
wk 6Sep 30 xover and other components of GAs Assignment 3 [pdf]  
wk 7Oct 7 GAs for permutation problems, xover operators for permutations    
wk 8Oct 14 Epistasis, schema, schema theory, implicit parallelism    
wk 9Oct 21 Evolution Strategies, diversity and population structure Assignment 4 [pdf]Read Chapter 4  
wk 10Oct 28 Genetic programming in general, tree based GP Read Chapter 5 & 6  
wk 11Nov 4 GP operators, Code bloat and hints on the cipher problem    
wk 12Nov 11 Cartesian Genetic Programming    
wk 13Nov 18 Multiobjective and Multimodal Optimization    
wk 15Dec 2 Ant Colony Optimization, Estimation of Distribution Algorithms, Epistasis, What if you don't have a fitness function, Prisoner's Dilemma Extra Credit Assignment 5 [pdf], Read Chapter 9  
wk 16Dec 9      
wk 17Dec 16   FINALS WEEK!  

References and Resources

General Resources General EC References LaTeX References


  • Homework submission page. This our homework submission page. This is not to be confused with any other submission tools used in the CS department.
  • Submitting homework without a browser
  • Computer Science IT FAQ including information on logging onto class machines.
  • The CS472/572 student machine is called That is not a typo. We are just reusing the machine from CS475. If you are off campus you can access this machine only by first "coming on campus" with VPN. For details see CS IT FAQ

Policies and Processes