Browse Definitions :
Definition

evolutionary algorithm

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

An evolutionary algorithm (EA) is an algorithm that uses mechanisms inspired by nature and solves problems through processes that emulate the behaviors of living organisms. EA is a component of both evolutionary computing and bio-inspired computing.

EAs are inspired by the concepts in Darwinian Evolution. In EAs, the solutions play the role of individual organisms in a population. The mix of potential solutions to a problem is populated randomly first. Then the population is tested for fitness -- how well and how quickly it solves a problem. Next, the fittest individuals are selected for reproduction. The cycle begins again as the fitness of the population is evaluated and the least fit individuals are eliminated.

As the mechanisms by which EAs work are inspired by evolution and living organisms, functions might include selection, reproduction, mutation  and  recombination. The adaptive process of choosing the best available solutions to a problem where selection occurs according to fitness is analogous to Darwin’s survival of the fittest. Algorithm solutions that work best among the available options reproduce; the least fit, being eliminated, do not. By testing fitness according to measured performance, optimization occurs over generations through such functions as  mutation .

EAs are excellent at optimizing solutions. It is important to note though that while EAs optimize effectively, they don’t necessarily find the optimal solution. Instead, EAs constantly find working solutions and measure performance against one another, which may or may not find the absolute best possible solution. EAs’ relatively high computational requirements, which may also be a consideration, are largely due to the complexity of fitness determination. This complexity can be reduced through fitness approximation.

This was last updated in April 2018

Continue Reading About evolutionary algorithm

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • brute force attack

    Brute force (also known as brute force cracking) is a trial and error method used by application programs to decode encrypted ...

  • spyware

    Spyware is software that is installed on a computing device without the user's knowledge. Spyware can be difficult to detect; ...

  • ATM black box attack

    An ATM black box attack, also referred to as jackpotting, is a type of banking-system crime in which the perpetrators bore holes ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • warm site

    A warm site is a type of facility an organization uses to recover its technology infrastructure when its primary data center goes...

  • disaster recovery (DR) test

    A disaster recovery test (DR test) is the examination of each step in a disaster recovery plan as outlined in an organization's ...

SearchStorage

  • disk array

    A disk array, also called a storage array, is a data storage system used for block-based storage, file-based storage or object ...

  • enterprise storage

    Enterprise storage is a centralized repository for business information that provides common data management, protection and data...

  • optical storage

    Optical storage is any storage type in which data is written and read with a laser. Typically, data is written to optical media, ...

Close