Genetic programming extends the idea of genetic algorithms discussed in Chapter 20, using the same idea of evolution going back to Darwin [Darwin 1859]. Here, the genotype is a piece of software, a directly executable program. Genetic programming searches the space of possible computer programs that solve a given problem. The performance of each individual program within the population is evaluated, then programs are selected according to their fitness and undergo operations that produce a new set of programs. These programs can be encoded in a number of different programming languages, but in most cases a variation of Lisp [McCarthy et al. 1962] is chosen, since it facilitates the application of genetic operators.
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