Optimization Techniques: Genetic Algorithm

Optimization Techniques: Genetic Algorithm

An adaptive and well known optimization technique. In complex machine learning models, the performance usually depends on multiple input parameters. In order to get the optimal model, the parameters must be properly tuned.

In complex machine learning models, the performance usually depends on multiple input parameters. In order to get the optimal model, the parameters must be properly tuned. However, when there are multiple parameter variables, each ranging across a wide spectrum of values, there are too many possible configurations for each set of parameters to be tested. In these cases, optimization methods should be used to attain the optimal input parameters without spending vast amounts of time finding them.

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In the diagram above, it shows the distribution of the model based on only two parameters. As evident in the example shown, it is not always an easy task to find the maximum or minimum of the curve. This is why optimization methods and algorithms are crucial in the field of machine learning.

Genetic Algorithm

The most commonly used optimization strategy are Genetic Algorithms. Genetic Algorithms are based off of Darwin’s theory of natural selection. It is relatively easy to implement and there is a lot of flexibility for the setup of the algorithm so that it can be applied to a wide range of problems.

Choosing a Fitness Function

To start off, there must be a fitness function that measures how well a set of input parameters perform. Solutions with a higher fitness derived from a fitness function will be better than ones with a lower fitness.

For example, if a solution has a cost of x + y + z, then the fitness function should try to minimize the cost. This can be done with the following fitness function

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genetic-algorithm optimization genetics optimization-algorithms machine-learning

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