[D] Genetic algorithms: Pros and cons of asexual reproduction vs merging two parents?
Quick dumbed-down basics:
- Create a bunch of random systems (brains, networks, whatever)
- Run each system through your simulation and rate its fitness
- Take the fittest systems, then breed and mutate them
- Repeat steps #2 and #3 until satisfactory results
Obviously this is an oversimplification, but my only concern right now is step #3. There are two common methods to create a new batch of systems:
Simple enough. Take one “parent” system, copy it, and then randomly mutate it.
Take two parent systems, merge them together according to predefined rules, and then throw in a couple random mutations.
What I’m curious about is, what are the pros and cons of either method? How is the first method not just a simplified version of the second method? Theoretically, you could get identical offspring from both methods, so why go through the more complicated routine of the second?