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Section: Software

GUIDE: A graphical interface for Evolutionary Algorithms

Participants : Marc Schoenauer [ correspondent ] , Luis Da Costa.

Abstract: GUIDE is a graphical user interface for easy Evolutionary Algorithm design and coding. It allows the user to describe its genome (the structure that will evolve) graphically, using containers (e.g. tuples, vectors, lists, ...) and elementary types (booleans, integers, real numbers and permutations). All representation-dependent operators (initialization, crossover and mutation) are then automatically defined with default values, built bottom-up from the elementary types, or can be specified by the user. Developing a prototype for a new search space involving complex structures has now become a matter of minutes.

GUIDE was programmed in JAVA by James Manley during the 6 months of his DESS stage in 2004. It is a follow-up of a previous tool developed in collaboration with Pierre Collet in the DREAM FP5 STREP project (http://www.dcs.napier.ac.uk/~benp/dream/dream.htm ).

GUIDE has been chosen as the evolutionary basis for the EvoTest FP6 STREP project: testing a given program means feeding it with data of a specific structure. In this context, the goal of EvoTest is to automatically evolve test data, relying on an automatic code generator that only requires a description of the structure of the data to evolve – and this is precisely what GUIDE is doing.

After the complete redesign of the graphical interface in 2008, and the use of Velocity Template to generate the code, allowing a complete independence of the application w.r.t. the target library, the main advance in 2009 has been the addition of a Racing procedure for (off-line) automatic parameter tuning. GUIDE is available on the INRIA GForge as an Open Source software (http://guide.gforge.inria.fr/ ).


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