Efficient Sampling with Small Populations: a Genetic Algorithm Satisfying Detailed Balance

Christopher Watkins, Yvonne Buttkewitz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present a population genetic algorithm which satisfies detailed balance, and which has a stationary distribution that factorises into an explicit form for arbitrary fitness functions. For a population size of 1, it is the Metropolis algorithm with a ‘breeder’ proposal distribution; it extends to larger populations in a natural way, and the stationary (that is, the mutation-selection equilibrium) distribution is exactly known in a simple form for any population size. We term this algorithm exchangeable breeding tuple product sampling (EBT).
EBT is closely related to some non-parametric Bayesian Markov-chain Monte Carlo sampling algorithms. EBT can also be viewed as a generalisation of the Moran process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGecco Companion '15
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Companion Publication of the 2015 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-3488-4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2015

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