A Genetic Algorithm for Selection of Fixed-Size Subsets with Application to Design Problems

Mark A. Wolters

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The R function kofnGA conducts a genetic algorithm search for the best subset of k items from a set of n alternatives, given an objective function that measures the quality of a subset. The function fills a gap in the presently available subset selection software, which typically searches over a range of subset sizes, restricts the types of objective functions considered, or does not include freely available code. The new function is demonstrated on two types of problem where a fixed-size subset search is desirable: design of environmental monitoring networks, and D-optimal design of experiments. Additionally, the performance is evaluated on a class of constructed test problems with a novel design that is interesting in its own right.

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