Using niching and sharing to find multiple solutions

In Chapter 2, Understanding the Key Components of Genetic Algorithms, we mentioned that niching and sharing in genetic algorithms mimic the way a natural environment is divided into multiple sub-environments, or niches. These niches are populated by different species, or sub-populations, taking advantage of the unique resources available in each niche, while specimens that coexist in the same niche have to compete over the same resources. Implementing a sharing mechanism within the genetic algorithm will encourage individuals to explore new niches and can be used for finding several optimal solutions, each considered a niche. One common way to accomplish sharing is to divide the raw fitness ...

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