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Novelty search: a Theoretical Perspective

Abstract : Novelty Search is an exploration algorithm driven by the novelty of a behavior. The same individual evaluated at different generations has different fitness values. The corresponding fitness landscape is thus constantly changing and if, at the scale of a single generation , the metaphor of a fitness landscape with peaks and valleys still holds, this is not the case anymore at the scale of the whole evolutionary process. How does this kind of algorithms behave? Is it possible to define a model that would help understand how it works? This understanding is critical to analyse existing Novelty Search variants and design new and potentially more efficient ones. We assert that Novelty Search asymptotically behaves like a uniform random search process in the behavior space. This is an interesting feature, as it is not possible to directly sample in this space: the algorithm has a direct access to the genotype space only, whose relationship to the behavior space is complex. We describe the model and check its consistency on a classical Novelty Search experiment. We also show that it sheds a new light on results of the literature and suggests future research work.
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Contributor : Stephane Doncieux Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, May 4, 2020 - 10:11:49 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 31, 2022 - 8:36:02 PM



Stephane Doncieux, Alban Laflaquière, Alexandre Coninx. Novelty search: a Theoretical Perspective. GECCO '19: Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, Jul 2019, Prague Czech Republic, France. pp.99-106, ⟨10.1145/3321707.3321752⟩. ⟨hal-02561846⟩



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