Towards a Theory of Strong Overgeneral Classifiers

Tim Kovacs    School of Computer Science University of Birmingham Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom


We analyse the concept of strong overgeneral rules, the Achilles’ heel of traditional Michigan-style learning classifier systems, using both the traditional strength-based and newer accuracy-based approaches to rule fitness. We argue that different definitions of overgenerality are needed to match the goals of the two approaches, present minimal conditions and environments which will support strong overgeneral rules, demonstrate their dependence on the reward function, and give some indication of what kind of reward functions will avoid them. Finally, we distinguish ...

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