Semi-distributed EA with Fate agents

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has title::Semi-distributed EA with Fate agents
status: ongoing
Student name: student name::Ruben Balk
Dates
Start start date:=2011/03/03
End end date:=2011/07/31
Supervision
Supervisor: Selmar Smit
Second reader: has second reader::Guszti Eiben
Company: has company::VU
Poster: has poster::Media:Media:Posternaam.pdf

Signature supervisor



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Abstract

Evolutionary Algorithms (EA) are being used with great success for years now to solve difficult optimization and machine learning problems. However, when we intend to use EAs on really large problems, the computational effort (runtime) can be high. Fortunately, EAs have an intuitively parallel nature and it is therefore rather easy to implement them in a parallel fashion. Parallelizing EAs offers a straightforward way to improve scale-up properties. But since an omniscient oracle is still required in parallel EAs (pEAs) to perform parent selection, reproduction and survivor selection, parallelization is only an intermediate solution. Fully distributed EAs require no omniscient oracle and have already been developed, like EvAg. In EvAg, the population of solutions is modeled as a peer-to-peer system where each peer is an agent capable of performing all mechanisms of the evolutionary process. However, each of the evolutionary processes may not necessarily have to be carried out by each of the agents. Instead, it may be beneficial that parent selection is performed by a single agent (or some specific set of agents), whom may then function as an ’oracle’ for the other agents.


This research aims to explore the consequences of distributing these evolutionary mechanisms to different sets of agents. The result is a system with three 'species' of agents. One species, the actors, focus on solving the actual task. Two other species of agents, which we've coined Fate agents, take care of the evolutionary process within their neighborhood: The reapers are concerned with survivor selection where the cupidos carry out parent selection and reproduction. In addition, this research explores the effect of evolvable Fate agents. In a system with these agents, the reapers and cupidos decide not just upon the fate of actor agents, but also on that of other reapers and cupidos.