August 2011


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Rinde van Lon <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
ECJ Evolutionary Computation Toolkit <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 1 Aug 2011 11:15:10 +0200
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Hi everyone,

I'm using the Grammatical Evolution (GE) package in ECJ (*) to
evolve the control structure of an agent in a multi-agent system. This
approach seems to be working fairly well. However, my choice for using GE
was rather arbitrary and I would like to compare my current implementation
using GE to other GGGP (Grammar Guided GP) solutions.

The reason that I want to conduct this comparison is because I'm in doubt if
GE is the best representation for my problem. For example, in [1] GE is
outperformed by GP on the Santa Fe Ant Trail problem. Because the Santa Fe
Ant Trail problem is in the agent domain, I suspect that GP might be better
for my agent problem as well.

There are two GGGP representations which I would like to use in my
implementation, and therefore in ECJ. One is 'plain' grammar guided GP and
the other is tree adjoining grammars (TAG). According to [2], one of the
benefits of using TAGs is: "The TAG transformation permits local
dependencies in the genotype space to map to long-distance dependencies in
the intermediate phenotype space in a controlled way, corresponding to the
structure of the grammar."

In short my questions are:

   - Does the above reasoning for researching other grammar based GP
   representations make sense, or am I missing the point (or some recent
   - Are there other GGGP implementations in ECJ besides GE, such as plain
   GGGP and TAG? If not, why?

If other GGGP implementations do not exist, I'm thinking of developing them
as extensions to ECJ in the future.

1. OʼNeill, M. and Ryan, C. Grammatical Evolution. *Evolutionary Computation
5*, 4 (2001), 349-358.
2. McKay, R.I., Hoai, N.X., Whigham, P.A., Shan, Y., and O’Neill, M.
Grammar-based Genetic Programming: a survey. *Genetic Programming and
Evolvable Machines 11*, 3-4 (2010), 365-396.

Best regards,
Rinde van Lon