A more bio-plausible approach to the evolutionary inference of finite state machines

Hooman Shayani, PJ Bentley

Annual Conference Companion on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation


With resemblance of finite-state machines to some biological mechanisms in cells and numerous applications of finite automata in different fields, this paper uses analogies and metaphors to introduce an element of bio-plausibility to evolutionary grammatical inference. Inference of a finite-state machine that generalizes well over unseen input-output examples is an NP-complete problem. Heuristic algorithms exist to minimize the size of an FSM keeping it consistent with all the input-output sequences. However, their performance dramatically degrades in presence of noise in the training set. Evolutionary algorithms perform better for noisy data sets but they do not scale well and their performance drops as size or complexity of the target machine grows. Here, inspired by a biological perspective, an evolutionary algorithm with a novel representation and a new fitness function for inference of Moore finite-state machines of limited size is proposed and compared with one of the latest evolutionary techniques.

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