Monday, July 04, 2005

 

GECCO-2005 proceedings worth a look

TKinJapan thinks that the GECCO proceedings is worth acquiring (full post here):

The folks over at IlliGAL have just gotten back from GECCO. Looking through the TOC from the proceedings is making me add another book to the wish list, as well as causing me to bemoan, at least to a small extent, how busy I am. I've had a project on the back burner for some time: A genetic algorithm for fast point-based character generation for the Shadowrun RPG. I know, I know, it is really nerdy, but still, it sounds interesting to me. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time for side projects recently.

The conference and the proceedings are as diverse and interesting as any in recent memory. In talking to Darrell Whitley about the conference, he commented on how it is difficult to get your arms around all the interesting work going on in the field. Ten years ago, people wondered if the field had much steam left in it. The answer is in, and it is a resounding, "yes."

I attribute some of this vibrancy to the demewise structure of GECCO. Initiated six years ago at the first GECCO in 1999, we created a structure of separate reviewing for separate areas of the field, and have taken pains to create new demes as new areas or interests arose. GECCO's structure expanded upon a less formal, yet demewise reviewing process initiated in the old GP conference (starting in 1996). This kind of review structure, I believe, encourages differences of opinion that result in exploration of new areas. Of course, doing so merely puts genetic algorithm principles into an organizational context, but earlier GA conferences had a tendency to filter out the unorthodox or unaccepted quite strenuously, even when a vocal minority had embraced and pursued a set of ideas with some vigor.

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