Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Genetic Algorithms

  • Colin R. ReevesEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_562


Evolutionary algorithms; Evolutionary computation


A genetic algorithm (GA) is one of a number of heuristic techniques that attempt to find high-quality solutions to large and complex optimization problems. The term evolutionary algorithm is sometimes used synonymously, but is generally used to denote a rather wider class of heuristics. All such algorithms use the notion of a sequence of cycles that employ mutation of, and subsequent selection from, a population of candidate solutions. While these features are also found in a GA, its most distinctive characteristic is the use of recombination (or crossover) to generate new candidate solutions. A secondary idea found in many, but not all GAs, is the existence of an encoding function that maps the original optimization problem into a space that is hoped to be more congenial to the application of the GA operators.

Historical Background

The term genetic algorithm was first used by John Holland, whose book [8], first...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Coventry UniversityCoventryUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kyuseok Shim
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Elec. Eng. and Computer ScienceSeoul National Univ.SeoulRepublic of Korea