Why and How to Measure Exploration in Behavioral Space

  • Ollion C
  • Doncieux S
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Abstract

Exploration and exploitation are two complementary as- pects of Evolutionary Algorithms. Exploration, in partic- ular, is promoted by specific diversity keeping mechanisms generally relying on the genotype or on the fitness value. Re- cent works suggest that, in the case of Evolutionary Robotics or more generally behavioral system evolution, promoting exploration directly in the behavioral space is of critical im- portance. In this work an exploration indicator is proposed, based on the sparseness of the population in the behavioral space. This exploration measure is used on two challenging neuro-evolution experiments and validated by showing the dependence of the fitness at the end of the run on the ex- ploration measure during the very first generations. Such a prediction ability could be used to design parameter settings algorithms or selection algorithms dedicated to the evolution of behavioral systems. Several other potential uses of this measure are also proposed and discussed.

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Authors

  • Charles Ollion

  • Stéphane Doncieux

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