Activity: Talk or presentation types › Invited talk
The field of meta-heuristic search algorithms has a long history of finding inspiration in natural systems. Starting from classics such as Genetic Algorithms and Ant Colony Optimization, we have recently witnessed an explosion of natural (and sometimes supernatural) methods in the literature - from Birds and Barnacles to Zombies and Reincarnation. While metaphors can often be powerful inspiration tools, it can be argued that the emergence of hundreds of barely discernible algorithmic variants under different labels and nomenclatures has done little to advance science, be it in terms of understanding and simulating biological systems, or of contributing generalisable knowledge or design principles for global optimisation approaches. In this talk we'll visit the Evolutionary Computation Bestiary and use it to discuss some of the possible causes and consequences of this trend, as well as some efforts aimed at moving the area of metaheuristics towards a better balance between inspiration and scientific soundness.