Can Evolutionary Algorithms Describe Learning Processes?

Posted: 3 Nov 1998

See all articles by Thomas Brenner

Thomas Brenner

Max Planck Institute for Research Into Economic Systems, Jena

Abstract

Evolutionary algorithms have attracted more and more the attention of economists in recent years. Repeatedly it is claimed that they are an adequate tool to describe learning processes within a population of individuals. The present paper examines this claim. To this end, a learning model is set up that contains the three elements of variation, elimination, and imitation that are claimed to correspond with the processes of mutation, selection, and replication of biological evolution. Subsequently, this model is compared with a formulation of evolutionary algorithms. The comparison reveals that although both processes have a similar structure there are crucial differences between the two dynamics.

JEL Classification: A12, C50, D71

Suggested Citation

Brenner, Thomas, Can Evolutionary Algorithms Describe Learning Processes?. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=123894

Thomas Brenner (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research Into Economic Systems, Jena ( email )

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