Frequently Asked Questions

Q What is a genetic algorithm?

A Genetic algorithms are a family of techniques which find near optimal solutions to intractable problems in minimum time using the principles of selective breeding on potential solutions to the problem. "The Blues" is an example of a simple genetic algorithm together with a more detailed description of the principles that underlie it.

Q Where are genetic algorithms used?

A The use of genetic algorithms goes back to the early 1970's since their development by John Holland. They are applicable to a wide range of problems in which one solution must be chosen out of many possibilities. Examples include cognitive modelling, image recognition, and job scheduling. A more complete list of both commercial and academic applications is available taken from Goldberg (1989).

Q Why Ada 95?

A Ada 95 offers support for both object orientation and generic templates, these help in making a easily adaptable generic toolkit. The Department of Computing Science at Glasgow University has just introduced Ada 95 as their initial teaching language and this project offers opportunity to gain experience using this language.