Towards the Evolution of Multi-Layered Neural Networks: A Dynamic Structured Grammatical Evolution Approach

Filipe Assunção, Nuno Lourenço, Penousal Machado, Bernardete Ribeiro

Current grammar-based NeuroEvolution approaches have several shortcomings. On the one hand, they do not allow the generation of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs composed of more than one hidden-layer. On the other, there is no way to evolve networks with more than one output neuron. To properly evolve ANNs with more than one hidden-layer and multiple output nodes there is the need to know the number of neurons available in previous layers. In this paper we introduce Dynamic Structured Grammatical Evolution (DSGE): a new genotypic representation that overcomes the aforementioned limitations. By enabling the creation of dynamic rules that specify the connection possibilities of each neuron, the methodology enables the evolution of multi-layered ANNs with more than one output neuron. Results in different classification problems show that DSGE evolves effective single and multi-layered ANNs, with a varying number of output neurons.

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