Archive for July, 2010


I have recently got back from Barcelona where I presented my poster on TMBL on Tuesday morning – the whole scene looked rather like this:

Me presenting my poster at CEC 2010

Me presenting my poster at CEC 2010

There was a very encouraging response to the work.  Thanks to everyone I spoke to for taking the time to listen and for your support and feedback.

When not at the conference, I tried to see as much of Barcelona as possible.  For the time being, I will leave my snaps here.  I like Barcelona an awful lot and I really rather was sad to leave.


The First TMBL Poster

July 14, 2010 1 comment

As I previously mentioned, I hope to use this blog to explain the ideas of TMBL but I’m aware that until then it would be useful to give some sources of information.  With that in mind, here’s my (recently finished) first TMBL poster…

Warning: The full size version is pretty big (3311 x 4681)

Poster Explaining TMBL For CEC 2010

My Poster To Help Me Explain TMBL to People At WCCI CEC 2010

I’m off to WCCI 2010 in Barcelona next week (hurrah) and this poster is to help me explain TMBL to folks there.

UPDATE: I’ve just had it printed at A0 and I’m pretty pleased with how it looks but I’ve spotted a mistake.  Kudos to anyone else that spots it (and it’s a small grammatical error so “it’s all nonsense mate” doesn’t count).

The First TMBL Paper

I hope to use this blog to explain many of the ideas behind TMBL.  Until then, I’m afraid you’ll have to read the paper I’ve written on it.  Here‘s the paper and here’s its abstract:

If a population of programs evolved not for a few hundred generations but for a few hundred thousand or more, could it generate more interesting behaviours and tackle more complex problems?

We begin to investigate this question by introducing Tweaking Mutation Behaviour Learning (TMBL), a form of evolutionary computation designed to meet this challenge.  Whereas Genetic Programming (GP) typically involves creating a large pool of initial solutions and then shuffling them (with crossover and mutation) over relatively few generations, TMBL focuses on the cumulative acquisition of small adaptive mutations over many generations.  In particular, we aim to reduce limits on long term fitness growth by encouraging tweaks: changes which affect behaviour without ruining the existing functionality. We use this notion to construct a standard representation for TMBL. We then experimentally compare TMBL against linear GP and tree-based GP and find that TMBL shows strong signs of being more conducive to the long term growth of fitness.

UPDATE: Here’s a picture:

The front of a riveting page-turner.

Hello world!

July 13, 2010 1 comment

Well hello!  You find me here writing the very first post of my very first blog.  Please make allowances while I get used to it.

On the very few occasions I have considered writing a diary, I have found my head filling with potential criticisms and stopped pretty quickly.  I’m finding that something similar happens when starting a blog.  Allow me to quote some of the voices in my head :

Why would you think anyone’s interested in what you have to say?  You’ll write bad sentences about boring subjects.

Blogs are just a passing fad.

Why not spend that time just getting on with some work?

You won’t persevere with it; your meagre collection of posts will join all the other skeleton blogs and websites which together form humanity’s vast tribute to failed diligence.

Aren’t you aware that almost every blog starts with tedious self-examination?

Maybe these are good points.  Maybe not.  Maybe I’ll post responses at some point, but not now; this isn’t a blog about blogging.  At the moment, I’m looking forward to it all and I have sufficient responses to these criticisms to still think it’s a pretty good idea.

…and so I declare this new blog open.  May it have at least one interesting to say about doing cool things with evolution in computers.  May at least one of its entries be read and enjoyed.  May it make at least one lunch break a little bit more interesting.  May it stimulate at least one discussion in its comments sections.  May it help at least one person to understand a smidgen of the excitement I feel about TMBL.

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