Algorithm-Based - Component-Based
- Programming hints - EO
Welcome to EO, the Evolving Objects library,
Important notice - December 2006
The code that is proposed in this tutorial should not
as a basis for any comparison with any original method on any benchmark problem.
It is an illustration of what you can achieve with EO, but reaching state-of-the-art results
requires more work. In particular, if you want to compare your evolutionary
algorithm with a good performing algorithm in parameteric optimisation,
use ESEA in Lesson4,
but go to the test directory, type
make t-eoCMAES and use the resulting t-eoCMAES. But as of today,
the latest algorithms (and comparative results)
are better found on Nikolaus Hansen Web page
and on his "Comparison of Evolutionary Algorithms on a Benchmark Function Set" page).
Version 0.98a - December 2004
- New -
Well, in fact, nothing really new,
but some people advised us to announce from the very beginning that
if you are looking for a ready-to-use
(except for the fitness) fully tunable Evolutionary
Algorithm evolving real values or bitstring, you can
go directly to
Lesson 4 after just reading
this page, and maybe the Programming
hints (link on top of each page too).
In fact, there is something new: EO's automatic configuration and
build process has been cleaned up and upgraded. For consistency, the
same automatically-built Makefiles have been created in the
tutorial directories. The good-old manually-created files are
still there, now named
Moreover, when you compile the whole library (typing make in the main EO dir), all lessons of the tutorial gets compiled, too.
Version 0.98 - May 2004
- Lesson 5
has been improved: some of
the empty template files in dir
have been simplified, and file stat.tmpl
has been added, allowing you to
The magic script is now (see Lesson5) createSimple.
The same simplified main file in
also allows you to use
(together with roulette wheel) as a possible selector.
Unfortunately, the HTML file for Lesson5 and the corresponding
html-ized code are not yet updated - time is missing
Thanks to Sébastien
Cahon (LIFL, Lille)
Welcome to EO tutorial/on-line documentation.
About this tutorial
First, please note that this tutorial is not supposed
to be printed and read off-line, as it takes full advantage
of hyper-text links between the different parts, and with the technical
This tutorial can be used in 2 different ways: algorithm-based and component-based.
However, it is strongly recommended
that you take some time on the first lesson of the Algorithm-Based approach
to get familiar with the basic concepts that are used throughout EO. Anyway,
as of today, December 19, the Component-Based is only very sparsely written
Algorithm-Based means you start from a very
simple, ready-to-run algorithm, and gradually modify it, making
it both more powerful and more complex.
Component-Based means you start by examining
components of an EA one by one, down to
the level of complexity you feel comfortable with, and then build the whole
algorithm using those components you need (or the one you are mastering).
Such approach might be viewed as going through a simplified user guide,
Links and Related
There are of course a few (very few) programming
hints that you should know.
THe EO documentation - automatically
generated from the comments in the code - is very helpful to get an idea
of the inheritance diagrams of EO classes,
and to quickly reach some specific part of the code.
The top page of each class documentation is for instance the inheritance
diagram of the class, and you'll learn a lot by simply looking at it.
For those who wish to get deeper in STL (Standard Template Library), you
might visit the well documented SGI
STL Web site. But don't forget you'll find the very basic minimum in
EO programming hints.
And, last but not least, we assume you know approximately that an Evolutionary
Algorithm looks like this, but otherwise you can try this very
brief introduction (not written yet, Jan. 2001, sorry).
Colors and navigation:
You will see this diagram in quite many places, as for instance at the
top of all examples - usually it will be clickable and will help you navigate
among the different parts of an EO program. See the brief
introduction to Evolutionary Computation for a detailed explanation.
But in the text itself, colors are important,
as they will be used throughout this tutorial to clearly mark which part
of the algorithm we are discussing. So please keep in mind that, whereas
is for emphasis,
Yellowish is for representation,
i.e. the choice of the genotype
Magenta is for the stochastic
operators that are representation-dependent,
i.e. initialisation and variation operators
and the like).
Green is for the implementation of Darwinism,
i.e. the way the individuals are selected
for reproduction and survive.
Red is for evaluation, i.e. the computation
of the fitness of all individuals
Blue is for interactions of the user and the
program, as for instance choice of stopping criterion,
on-line display of nice statistics or initial
of all program parameters.
Brown is for everything that is NOT part of
any of the above, i.e. random number generator, or basic C++/STL syntax
Note that pink will be used to describe the
syntax of compile orders (i.e. at the operating system level, see e.g.
Last, but not least, all
links into EO documentation will use the Helvetica typeface, like this
line you are now reading.
This tutorial is
A course on Evolutionary Computation. You can find such things on the Internet,
maybe you can start here.
An interface that would allow you to build your Evolutionary Programs by
a few clicks; such a thing does exist, is called EASEA,
and is complementary to this tutorial as it helps the user to build some
simple EO programs from simple description. But there are things that EASEA
cannot do, and you will have to do it yourself and will need to increase
your knowledge about EO for that - hence this tutorial.
A coffee machine - though you might want to spend some time here when you're
tired of everything else, to improve your knowledge of EO slowly and gradually
rather than when you have something urgent to code :-)
You should of course have downloaded and installed the whole EO
library (how did you get this file if not???).
If you are using a recent version of EO (0.9.3+), all tutorial Lessons
should have been compiled when installing the library, and you can now
proceed with Lesson1.
Otherwise, we'll assume that you are now in the tutorial directory, and that
your prompt looks something like
(myname@myhost) EOdir/tutorial %
so you should now type in
and see something like
EOdir/tutorial % make Lesson1
c++ -DPACKAGE=\"eo\" -DVERSION=\"0.9.1\"
-I. -I../../src -Wall -g -c FirstBitGA.cpp
c++ -Wall -g -o FirstBitGA FirstBitGA.o
c++ -DPACKAGE=\"eo\" -DVERSION=\"0.9.1\"
-I. -I../../src -Wall -g -c FirstRealGA.cpp
c++ -Wall -g -o FirstRealGA FirstRealGA.o
and two now executable files should have appeared in the subdirectory
Lesson1, namely FirstBitGA
and FirstRealGA (see First
lesson to know more about these two ready-to-run programs). If this
doesn't work, please go back to the main EO directory and run the installation
You should also test that you can access the EO documentation in the
menu line below: you might not need to go there immediately, but just in
case you make rapid progress ... This menu bar should be on all pages of
this tutorial, allowing you to navigate easily.
Last, but not least: EO is improving only from the good will of
contributors. This is also true for this tutorial: If you find anything
that you think could be improved, you are welcome to e-mail
- Component-Based - Programming
hints - EO
modified: Wed Feb 22 2006