Genetic Algorithm in Artificial Intelligence

Many people struggle to solve optimization problems using biological evolution or natural selection. Using genetic algorithms to solve such issues is one of the easiest methods. It provides solutions to complex problems using little time and resources. Many researchers use the algorithm in machine learning, solving optimization problems, e.t.c. You can use it in different sectors like businesses, engineering, scientific research, e.t.c. Most of the solutions provided after the selection are based on different scores to increase accuracy during mutation. The article will enable you to understand how genetic algorithm works, their pages, their advantages and disadvantages, and their applications.

What is a Genetic Algorithm?

A genetic algorithm uses natural selection to find the fit individuals suitable for reproduction to produce the following offspring of the coming generation. Genetic algorithms use natural selection found under the evolutionary algorithm. Genetic algorithm applications include using decision trees, solving puzzles like sudoku, hyperparameter optimization, e.t.c.

When using the algorithm, most problems evolve to get better solutions to the issues. Each candidate, an individual or organism, has chromosomes that act as a set of properties. The properties can get mutated, and the solutions are in the form of encodings, i.e., 0s and 1s. The process begins by randomly generating individuals from the population. The population is in terms of generations. Under each generation, there is evaluation, and those with good scores get selected to form a new generation.

There are several phases of a genetic algorithm. They include:

Initial population

It is where the whole process begins. Each group has different sets of individuals from the population. Each can help you solve the problem you want to solve using various traits. Each individual has genes that form a chromosome when joined to the string. When using the algorithm, the strings get represented by 0 or 1s or both. 

Fitness function

It is a function they use to determine whether one is fit to compete with other individuals. Each individual gets a fitness score. Most of those selected for reproduction rely on their score. There is some situation where the object size exceeds the knapsack forcing the representation to become invalid. In cases where the definition of fitness function becomes hard, you can use methods like simulation to find the fitness score. You can use phenotypes like computational fluid dynamics and interactive genetic algorithms.

Selection

You have to select the best individuals who will create the next generation. Each pair of individuals get selected depending on different fitness scores. Having a higher fitness score improves the chances of getting selected.

Crossover

When performing mating, you must choose the point randomly from the genes. It is a critical phase when using genetic algorithms. You create offspring by exchanging the parent's genes with themselves until you achieve the cross-over point. After that, you will get new offspring added to the population later.

Mutation

It is when you flip some of the strings. You select the genes at this stage by considering those with low probability. It mainly avoids premature convergence and maintains the existing diversity within the population.

Heuristics

We use different approaches to solve all the problems. The techniques may be practical, but there is no guarantee that they are perfect. They make the calculation processes faster and more robust. There are some types of approaches that we can use to penalize the crossovers that happen between the candidate solutions if there is some similarity. 

Termination

It is a repetitive process that occurs until we have the termination symptoms or conditions showing up. This include:

  • The available solution satisfies the minimum criteria.
  • It has a fixed number of generations.
  • The allocated budget for the project is over.
  • Use of manual inspection.
  • The ranking solutions have reached a depletion making the iterations produce bad results.
  • You detect termination when you get a combination of the abovementioned issues.

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Working of Genetic Algorithms in AI

Several steps ensure the working of genetic algorithms in artificial intelligence.  These are as follows:

The population components, i.e., the elements, are the genes. This gene form the chromosome of an individual.

The search space gets created, and the individuals get accumulated. All the chromosomes get coded using the finite length under the search space.

Each individual in the population gets a fitness score showing how they can compete with others.

All the individuals who possess specific fitness scores get them sought and maintained. Individuals who have higher scores get the chance to reproduce with each other.

The new spring has reasonable solutions when you compare them to the parents. The algorithms ensure the search space dynamics can accumulate the new offspring.

The process is repetitive until the offsprings lack more features than the parents. The chromosomes later converge, and only those with fitter solutions remain with the offspring. You must find the fitness score through different calculations if there are new individuals.

How is it used in Artificial Intelligence?

There are several ways in which genetic algorithms get used in artificial intelligence. Some of the methods include:

  • The ability to solve problems. It uses different problem-solving tools even after several decades or periods to implement the changes.
  • Use the past learning experiences to improve the learning processes.

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Advantages of Genetic Algorithm

Benefits of using a genetic algorithm include:

  • It can optimize both the continuous and discrete functions and multi-objective issues.
  • They dont need derivative information since some information may lack the problem you want to solve using the genetic algorithms.
  • Its whole concept is easier to understand.
  • It works with many parallel capabilities.
  • You get better solutions as time moves.
  • They are fast and efficient when compared with other methods.

Disadvantages of Genetic Algorithm

Disadvantages of genetic algorithms include:

  • You can not get an optimal solution sometimes if you dont use the algorithm correctly.
  • It can be expensive to work with fitness values that get evaluated depending on the generations.
  • They may take a long time to cover them if there is a stochastic nature.
  • They are unsuitable for simpler problems, especially when derivative information is available.

Benefits and Uses of Genetic Algorithms

Genetic algorithms have many benefits. Some of them include:

  • They perform well in noisy environments, and they can solve complex and discrete issues.
  • Most of the solutions generated by the algorithm are very strong and reliable when you compare them to the rest of the algorithms.
  • Genetic algorithms have good effectiveness making their usage in many sectors increase. Some of the applications of the algorithm include signal processing, code-breaking, filtering, fuzzy logic, neural networks, e.t.c.
  • The size of the solutions can increase due to optimizations of the solutions when working with an extensive search scale. It makes it suitable for a large population.
  • The algorithm possesses a stochastic distribution for ensuring all probabilistic transition rules get obeyed, making the process of analyzing easier but that of prediction harder.
  • Most of its solutions can not deviate so much since they can handle some noise.

Key Terminologies in Genetic Algorithms

There are several terminologies that we use when dealing with genetic algorithms. Examples of the key terminologies include:

  • Selection Operator. We use it to select individuals with good fitness scores for reproduction.
  • Crossover Operator. It helps select the crossover site by looking at where their merge will likely occur. It chooses the crossover sites randomly when selecting the individuals ready for mating and uses them to form new individuals.
  • Mutation Operator. It works by embedding all the random genes found under the offspring to avoid cases of premature convergence and to maintain diversity.
  • Premature Convergence. 
  • Allele. It is the value of a particular gene located in the chromosome. Each gene has a specific number of alleles, which helps define the gene's chromosomes.

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Conclusion

We now have a deeper understanding of genetic algorithms. It uses Charles Darwin's theory of evolution concept to achieve the result. It is an excellent method to try if you have complex tasks, and you will get solutions fast. There are many applications of genetic algorithms in different sectors. You must understand how to use and apply them in different scenarios to get the best results. Some of them take time to be successful.

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Gayathri
Gayathri
Research Analyst
As a senior Technical Content Writer for HKR Trainings, Gayathri has a good comprehension of the present technical innovations, which incorporates perspectives like Business Intelligence and Analytics. She conveys advanced technical ideas precisely and vividly, as conceivable to the target group, guaranteeing that the content is available to clients. She writes qualitative content in the field of Data Warehousing & ETL, Big Data Analytics, and ERP Tools. Connect me on LinkedIn.

The genetic algorithm uses natural selection to find the right individuals later selected for reproduction to produce the following offspring. 

The three stages of a genetic algorithm include initialization, fitness function, convergence, selection, e.t.c.

We use it in computational stimulation to find the biological evolution processes using probability and search techniques.

The working principle of a genetic algorithm is to find the solutions to all the optimization problems.

The two main features of genetic algorithms are crossover techniques and fitness functions.