Abstract

Genetic programming is a powerful method for automatically generating computer programs via the process of natural selection (Koza, 1992). However, in its standard form, there is no way to restrict the programs it generates to those where the functions operate on appropriate data types. In the case when the programs manipulate multiple data types and contain functions designed to operate on particular data types, this can lead to unnecessarily large search times and/or unnecessarily poor generalization performance. Strongly typed genetic programming (STGP) is an enhanced version of genetic programming that enforces data-type constraints and whose use of generic functions and generic data types makes it more powerful than other approaches to type-constraint enforcement. After describing its operation, we illustrate its use on problems in two domains, matrix/vector manipulation and list manipulation, which require its generality. The examples are (1) the multidimensional least-squares regression problem, (2) the multidimensional Kalman filter, (3) the list manipulation function NTH, and (4) the list manipulation function MAPCAR.

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