Online Diversity Control in Symbolic Regression via a Fast Hash-based Tree Similarity Measure

Bogdan Burlacu, Michael Affenzeller, Gabriel Kronberger, Michael Kommenda

Diversity represents an important aspect of genetic programming, being directly correlated with search performance. When considered at the genotype level, diversity often requires expensive tree distance measures which have a negative impact on the algorithm's runtime performance. In this work we introduce a fast, hash-based tree distance measure to massively speed-up the calculation of population diversity during the algorithmic run. We combine this measure with the standard GA and the NSGA-II genetic algorithms to steer the search towards higher diversity. We validate the approach on a collection of benchmark problems for symbolic regression where our method consistently outperforms the standard GA as well as NSGA-II configurations with different secondary objectives.

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