by Moshe Sipper
We can plainly see why nature is prodigal in variety, though niggard in innovation.
This beautiful statement was written by Charles Darwin in Origin of Species. As a corollary, I might add that, given nature’s prodigal resources, she needn’t be too smart, and — to paraphrase a famed Darwinist — can be seen to trudge along quite blindly.
Yet, in the field of Evolutionary Computation we practice the opposite of this Darwinian tenet, demonstrating at every conference, journal, and whatnot how cleverly prodigal we are in innovation (be it theoretical, algorithmic, or applicative), what an inventive evolutionary system we have designed, using — more often than not — quite niggardly means.
Might this be not the practice of evolutionary computation, but something else? A thing that tastes like evolution, feels like it, maybe even has that familiar smell of evolution — but isn’t?
In light of the argument pleaded before us, perchance the fruitful endeavor deserves a new name, similar yet distinct? Should the jury vote yea, I propose Volutionary Computation, deriving from “volution” (“a rolling or revolving motion”). After all, the metaphorical ball rolls in the search space, and if the system has been set up smartly — it shall end up being on a roll.
(Moreover, volutionary rolls off the tongue, now, doesn’t it?)
Copyright © 2016 by Moshe Sipper