Keywords

Evolutionary computation, Genetic algorithms, Neural networks (Computer science.)

Abstract

Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are an abstraction of the low-level architecture of biological brains that are often applied in general problem solving and function approximation. Neuroevolution (NE), i.e. the evolution of ANNs, has proven effective at solving problems in a variety of domains. Information from the domain is input to the ANN, which outputs its desired actions. This dissertation presents a new NE algorithm called Hypercube-based NeuroEvolution of Augmenting Topologies (HyperNEAT), based on a novel indirect encoding of ANNs. The key insight in HyperNEAT is to make the algorithm aware of the geometry in which the ANNs are embedded and thereby exploit such domain geometry to evolve ANNs more effectively. The dissertation focuses on applying HyperNEAT to tactical and strategic decision domains. These domains involve simultaneously considering short-term tactics while also balancing long-term strategies. Board games such as checkers and Go are canonical examples of such domains; however, they also include real-time strategy games and military scenarios. The dissertation details three proposed extensions to HyperNEAT designed to work in tactical and strategic decision domains. The first is an action selector ANN architecture that allows the ANN to indicate its judgements on every possible action all at once. The second technique is called substrate extrapolation. It allows learning basic concepts at a low resolution, and then increasing the resolution to learn more advanced concepts. The iii final extension is geometric game-tree pruning, whereby HyperNEAT can endow the ANN the ability to focus on specific areas of a domain (such as a checkers board) that deserve more inspection. The culminating contribution is to demonstrate the ability of HyperNEAT with these extensions to play Go, a most challenging game for artificial intelligence, by combining HyperNEAT with UCT

Notes

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Graduation Date

2010

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Stanley, Kenneth O.

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Department

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0003464

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0003464

Language

English

Release Date

December 2010

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science, Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic

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