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An Exemplar-Based Fitness Function with Dynamic Value Based on Sub-Problem Difficulty Steve Rowe June 2006 Srowe -at- cybernet -dot- com Please put "genetic" in the subject if you write.

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The GA Binary Chromosome Evolutionary Programming (EP) Approach: –100% Mutation Rate –0% Cross-over (Recombination) Rate BUT, non-EP approach: –Mutation rate is constant –Mutation is not restricted to small changes

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FSM Encoding For a state machine with a maximum of N states, on an alphabet with M characters –N*(1+M*ceiling(log2(N))) bits are used. –Genome is divided into N bit fields, one for each state. –Each state bitfield is divided into a 1-bit flag (isFinal) and M binary numbers, which is the number of the state to go to when that character is read. –The first state is always the start state

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FSM Encoding Example 2 states max, over the alphabet {a,b,c}: –Bits = 2 * (1 + 3 * log2(2)) = 2 * (1+3*1) = 8 final abc 1 bit final abc 1 bit State 0State 1

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FSM Encoding Example The 2-state machine over {a,b,c} that accepts strings with an odd number of 'b's final abc 1101 abc 0010 State 0State 1 a,c b b

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FSM Encoding Example 3 states max, over the alphabet {a,b}: –Bits = 3 * (1 + 2 * ceil(log2(3))) –= 3 * (1+2*2) = 15 Finalab 1 bit2 bits Finalab 1 bit2 bits Finalab 1 bit2 bits State 0 State 1State 2

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FSM Encoding Example A machine that accepts only strings in (ab)*. –That is, e, ab, abab, ababab, etc. Finalab Finalab Finalab 010 State 0 State 1State 2 a b a,b a b

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Encoding Notes If the number of states is not a power of 2, it is possible to code a "broken" FSM where there is a transition to a non-existent state. –My implementation guarantees unbroken FSMs by taking the destination modulo the number of states. Typical inductions are on {a,b} with 12 states (108 bits per genome), so the search space is about 3.25x That's about years to search at a million genomes per second.

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The Fitness Function How do you test if a FSM accepts a given regular language? –RLs are potentially infinite in size Answer: Create a representative sample of strings that are in the language, and count the number of those that are accepted. Oops: This simple machine accepts all strings over {a,b}. a,b

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The Fitness Function So we also need a representative sample of strings that are not in the language. So we have a set of strings, each of which has a flag indicating if it is in the language.

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The Fitness Function During evaluation, we run the FSM that corresponds to each (unique) member of the population on each string in the test set. If the FSM accepts a string in the language or rejects a string that is not in the language, it scores a "correct". The score for a FSM = correct/total tests

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Initial Results For the language consisting of strings with both "ab" and "ba" as substrings, a solution is: –

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Initial Results But it's easier to see this way Even with high mutation, it takes on average 66,000 generations to converge.

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Problems As with many genetic programming applications, changing 1 bit can turn a successful genome into a complete failure. –Not as much of a problem here because a 1-bit change only changes the isFinal for a single state, or the state transtion for a single symbol from a single state. There can be some big, attractive local maxima with the given fitness scheme (scoring 19 out of 20, but that last test case is nothing like the others).

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One Solution Bigger genomes? –Theory: It is sometimes easier to build a Rube Goldberg FSM than to build an elegant, compact one. –So: Allow the maximum number of states to be larger and convergence seems to happen faster. –But that's crap, because increasing the number of states also increases the search space by many times

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Think the Problem Through With this fitness paradigm, a local maximum trap happens when some feature of the target language is under-represented in the test set. A FSM that accepts the language sans that feature will score well, but not perfectly, and may be very different in implementation than one that accepts the correct language.

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Missed it by this much. The machine shown here accepts strings in b*a+b(a|b)*, which is close to the target so it scores well. But it doesn't reject abbbb This is a local maximum that is difficult to leave.

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Another Approach Pick the tests that are often failing and give them more weight. –Score them higher OR –Score others lower I use –weight = incorrect / number of evaluations –=(evaluations - correct) / evaluations Weight adjustments are made once per generation, so they are not very expensive.

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Implications The elite in the population will have their fitnesses lowered relative to individuals that got the "rare" problems right. –This limits the dominance of dynasties because: The more members of a population that get a problem right, the less that problem is worth The better a member scores, the more of them there will be Therefore, the very problems that a well-scoring member is getting right are the ones that are being devalued the fastest!

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Fitness versus Generation The fitness of the best individual (blue trace) and the mean population fitness (red trace) are shown versus generation. Circled are the characteristic steady declines in fitness value of the elite caused by the dynamic fitness function.

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Results Over many different languages and thousands of trials, the dynamic fitness function is superior. –2 orders of magnitude faster convergence –3 orders of magnitude smaller variance

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Conclusion I have presented a fitness function based on exemplar data rather than a closed form function. I have shown that the fitness function can be used to induce FSMs based on example strings from a language. I have introduced an optimization technique for varying the value of individual test cases within the test set that causes much faster convergence.

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