Linear Genomes for Structured Programs

  • Thomas HelmuthEmail author
  • Lee Spector
  • Nicholas Freitag McPhee
  • Saul Shanabrook
Part of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation book series (GEVO)


In most genetic programming systems, candidate solution programs themselves serve as genome upon which variation operators act. However, because of the hierarchical structure of computer programs and the syntactic constraints that they must obey, it is difficult to implement variation operators that affect different parts of programs with uniform probability. This lack of uniformity can have detrimental effects on evolutionary search, such as increases in code bloat. In prior work, structured programs were linearized prior to variation in order to facilitate uniform variation. However, this necessitated syntactic repair after variation, which reintroduced non-uniformities. In this chapter we describe a new approach that uses linear genomes that are translated into hierarchical programs for execution. We present the new approach in detail and show how it facilitates both uniform variation and the evolution of programs with meaningful structure.


Genetic programming Uniform variation Linear genome Push language Plush genome Representation scheme 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. 1129139 and 1331283. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Helmuth
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lee Spector
    • 2
  • Nicholas Freitag McPhee
    • 3
  • Saul Shanabrook
    • 4
  1. 1.Computer ScienceWashington and Lee UniversityLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Cognitive ScienceHampshire CollegeAmherstUSA
  3. 3.Division of Science and MathematicsUniversity of MinnesotaMorrisUSA
  4. 4.Computer ScienceUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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