This work investigates the application of variable length representation (VLR) evolutionary algorithms (EAs) in the field of Evolutionary Electronics. We propose a number of VLR methodologies that can cope with the main issues of variable length evolutionary systems. These issues include the search for efficient ways of sampling a genome space with varying dimensionalities, the task of balancing accuracy and parsimony of the solutions, and the manipulation of non-coding segments. We compare the performance of three proposed VLR approaches to sample the genome space: Increasing Length Genotypes, Oscillating Length Genotypes, and Uniformly Distributed Initial Population strategies. The advantages of reusing genetic material to replace non-coding segments are also emphasized in this work. It is shown, through examples in both analog and digital electronics, that the variable length genotype's representation is natural to this particular domain of application. A brief discussion on biological genome evolution is also provided.
The author is currently a post-doctoral scholar at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.