A Distributed Pool Architecture for Genetic Algorithms
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The genetic algorithm paradigm is a well-known heuristic for solving many problems in science and engineering in which candidate solutions, or ?individuals?, are manipulated in ways analogous to biological evolution, to produce new solutions until one with the desired quality is found. As problem sizes increase, a natural question is how to exploit advances in distributed and parallel computing to speed up the execution of genetic algorithms. This thesis proposes a new distributed architecture for genetic algorithms, based on distributed storage of the individuals in a persistent pool. Processors extract individuals from the pool in order to perform the computations and then insert the resulting individuals back into the pool. Unlike previously proposed approaches, the new approach is tailored for distributed systems in which processors are loosely coupled, failure-prone and can run at different speeds. Proof-of-concept simulation results are presented for four benchmark functions and for a real-world Product Lifecycle Design problem. We have experimented with both the crash failure model and the Byzantine failure model. The results indicate that the approach can deliver improved performance due to the distribution and tolerates a large fraction of processor failures subject to both models.