We present a covariant form for the dynamics of a canonical GA of arbitrary cardinality, showing how each genetic operator can be uniquely represented by a mathematical object — a tensor — that transforms simply under a general linear coordinate transformation. For mutation and recombination these tensors can be written as tensor products of the analogous tensors for one-bit strings thus giving a greatly simplified formulation of the dynamics. We analyze the three most well known coordinate systems — string, Walsh and Building Block — discussing their relative advantages and disadvantages with respect to the different operators, showing how one may transform from one to the other, and that the associated coordinate transformation matrices can be written as a tensor product of the corresponding one-bit matrices. We also show that in the Building Block basis the dynamical equations for all Building Blocks can be generated from the equation for the most fine-grained block (string) by a certain projection (“zapping”).

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