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A Local Search Approach to Genetic Programming for Binary Classification


In standard genetic programming (GP), a search is performed over a syntax space defined by the set of primitives, looking for the best expressions that minimize a cost function based on a training set. However, most GP systems lack a numerical optimization method to fine tune the implicit parameters of each candidate solution. Instead, GP relies on more exploratory search operators at the syntax level. This work proposes a memetic GP, tailored for binary classification problems. In the proposed method, each node in a GP tree is weighted by a real-valued parameter, which is then numerically optimized using a continuous transfer function and the Trust Region algorithm is used as a local search method. Experimental results show that potential classifiers produced by GP are improved by the local searcher, and hence the overall search is improved achieving significant performance gains, that are competitive with state-of-the-art methods on well-known benchmarks.

In GECCO’15.