The origin of evolutionary algorithmswas an attempt tomimic some of the processes taking place in natural evolution. Although the details of biological evolution are not completely understood (even nowadays), there exist some points supported by strong experimental evidence:
• Evolution is a process operating over chromosomes rather than over organisms. The former are organic tools encoding the structure of a living being, i.e., a creature is “built” decoding a set of chromosomes.
• Natural selection is the mechanism that relates chromosomes with the efficiency of the entity they represent, thus allowing that efficient organism which is welladapted to the environment to reproduce more often than those which are not.
• The evolutionary process takes place during the reproduction stage. There exists a large number of reproductive mechanisms in Nature. Most common ones are mutation (that causes the chromosomes of offspring to be different to those of the parents) and recombination (that combines the chromosomes of the parents to produce the offspring).
This book offers a basic introduction to genetic algorithms. It provides a detailed explanation of genetic algorithm concepts and examines numerous genetic algorithm optimization problems. In addition, the book presents implementation of optimization problems using C and C++ as well as simulated solutions for genetic algorithm problems using MATLAB 7.0. It also includes application case studies on genetic algorithms in emerging fields.