GA: A Package for Genetic Algorithms in R

Luca Scrucca

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Genetic algorithms (GAs) are stochastic search algorithms inspired by the basic principles of biological evolution and natural selection. GAs simulate the evolution of living organisms, where the fittest individuals dominate over the weaker ones, by mimicking the biological mechanisms of evolution, such as selection, crossover and mutation. GAs have been successfully applied to solve optimization problems, both for continuous (whether differentiable or not) and discrete functions.

This paper describes the R package GA, a collection of general purpose functions that provide a flexible set of tools for applying a wide range of genetic algorithm methods. Several examples are discussed, ranging from mathematical functions in one and two dimensions known to be hard to optimize with standard derivative-based methods, to some selected statistical problems which require the optimization of user defined objective functions. (This paper contains animations that can be viewed using the Adobe Acrobat PDF viewer.)

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