In many applications of genetic algorithms, there is a tradeoff between speed and accuracy in fitness evaluations when evaluations use numerical methods with varying discretization. In these types of applications, the cost and accuracy vary from discretization errors when implicit or explicit quadrature is used to estimate the function evaluations. This paper examines discretization scheduling, or how to vary the discretization within the genetic algorithm in order to use the least amount of computation time for a solution of a desired quality. The effectiveness of discretization scheduling can be determined by comparing its computation time to the computation time of a GA using a constant discretization. There are three ingredients for the discretization scheduling: population sizing, estimated time for each function evaluation and predicted convergence time analysis. Idealized one- and two-dimensional experiments and an inverse groundwater application illustrate the computational savings to be achieved from using discretization scheduling.

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