dr Tomasz D.Gwiazda
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Crossover Operators


Review of the book „Genetic Algorithms Reference” written by Tomasz Dominik Gwiazda.

This is surely an atypical book. It begins with a 4-page preface, and the rest of this book (some 400 pages) is divided into nearly 180 sections (each some two page long). Every section discusses a given recombination operator. This book should be evaluated from the point of view of author’s intentions for he plans to publish a series of works regarding various aspects of evolution algorithms (e.g. selection or mutation). This is the very first book of entire cycle.

Scope and level against the background of other books devoted to the same topics.

Such comparison is extremely difficult because the book by Tomasz Gwiazda is very different from other publications about genetic algorithms. Probably the most similar is the Handbook of Evolutionary Computation edited by Baeck, T., Fogel, D., and Michalewicz, Z., and published jointly by Oxford University Press and Institute of Physics in 1997. The Handbook encompasses over 1000 pages and presents all aspects of evolutionary methods in long and brief sections of summary character. For sure, the book by Tomasz Gwiazda is very unique on the market.

Modern way of topic presentation.

Also the way of topics presentation is very unique. As I have stated in former paragraph, there is no similar book available of the market right now. Moreover, its author agreed to update all the volumes regularly via electronic means, and this should make his offer even more attractive.

Is the book useful for students?

It is rather hard to say. Most probably, this book will not be utilized as any basic text for evolutionary algorithms course because (as the author admits) there is a plenty of introductory texts available already. However, majority of the libraries should definitely purchase this particular work as an important supplementary material.

Potential readers.

This book may constitute an excellent reference point for the students working on the projects, or doing master’s degrees of even Ph.D.’s. It is also a valuable source for researchers investigating this particular field.

Additional remarks.

There are two aspects of this review that slightly overlap (and I have to admit I have had some troubles with that). One aspect is the evaluation of a current version of this book; the other one – estimation of its future Polish translation. Of course, these are two different tasks, however they are linked together.

My general remark regarding the present text is that: because this book constitutes the first volume of a cycle, it’s a pity it does not include even the shortest introduction to genetic algorithms (or to evolutionary algorithms). The author presumes that the readers already know the specifics of this field. It may be true, but on the other hand it definitely narrows the scope of the potential readers. Author could consider an option of enhancement of his text when preparing Polish translation of this analysis. I am also not very much in favor of the adopted classification of the operators. Tomasz Gwiazda admits that his division is a bit artificial. Personally, I prefer to have a list of all the operators (without any classification whatsoever). The main character of each operator could be marked with a single sign in brackets. For instance, “injection crossover” listed on page 202 in the table of contents would be presented as follows: ……………

Injection crossover (R) ................................................................202

It would also make the notation much simpler because some operators could have a double classification, for example:

Random crossover (B,R)................................................................222

My other notes concern the possible translation of this work from English into Polish.

I hope the above stated reviews will be useful.

Zbigniew Michalewicz


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