We introduce a form of neutral horizontal gene transfer (HGT) to evolving graphs by graph programming (EGGP). We introduce the μ × λ evolutionary algorithm (EA), where μ parents each produce λ children who compete only with their parents. HGT events then copy the entire active component of one surviving parent into the inactive component of another parent, exchanging genetic information without reproduction. Experimental results from symbolic regression problems show that the introduction of the μ × λ EA and HGT events improve the performance of EGGP. Comparisons with genetic programming and Cartesian genetic programming strongly favour our proposed approach. We also investigate the effect of using HGT events in neuroevolution tasks. We again find that the introduction of HGT improves the performance of EGGP, demonstrating that HGT is an effective cross-domain mechanism for recombining graphs.
@article(Atkinson++2020-HGT, author = "Timothy Atkinson and Detlef Plump and Susan Stepney", title = "Horizontal gene transfer for recombining graphs", journal = "Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines", volume = 21, pages = "321-347", year = 2020. )