A Rigorous Evaluation of Crossover and Mutation in Genetic Programming

  • David R. White
  • Simon Poulding
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5481)


The role of crossover and mutation in Genetic Programming (GP) has been the subject of much debate since the emergence of the field. In this paper, we contribute new empirical evidence to this argument using a rigorous and principled experimental method applied to six problems common in the GP literature. The approach tunes the algorithm parameters to enable a fair and objective comparison of two different GP algorithms, the first using a combination of crossover and reproduction, and secondly using a combination of mutation and reproduction. We find that crossover does not significantly outperform mutation on most of the problems examined. In addition, we demonstrate that the use of a straightforward Design of Experiments methodology is effective at tuning GP algorithm parameters.


Response Surface Methodology Genetic Programming Problem Instance Central Composite Design Rigorous Evaluation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. White
    • 1
  • Simon Poulding
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer ScienceUniversity of York, HeslingtonYorkUK

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