Re: [GP] Reply to Koza's recent e-mails concerning the origins of GP
- The following is partly redundant, given my earlier
messages. But someone recommended that I respond to
Koza lest it appear that I perhaps agreed with him.
1. GP = GA applied to program space.
2. Program evolution (PE) is older and more general.
3. Admittedly, if Smith did apply GAs to programs
in the standard way, as a stand-alone system, not just
as part of a classifier-like system (where you cannot
even prove convergence won't get worse over time), then
Smith's work would qualify as GP and predate Cramer's.
Koza's reply does not clarify this previously brought-up
issue, presumably because this would counteract his
efforts to promote himself as "inventor of GP." Maybe
someone familiar with Smith's work can do this.
4. Otherwise, if Cramer used Smith-like crossover
in a standard GA working on programs, but Smith did
not, then Cramer was first, except if it's relevant what
Koza wrote: "Holland discussed using his genetic algorithm
(with crossover) on assembly code in his 1975 book."
I did not know this, and do not know to which extent
Holland discussed GP. Maybe we'd have to consider Holland
not only as the inventor of GAs but also of the special
case, GP. (In fact, in my opinion GP does not really
deserve an extra name as it is just one of many possible
GA applications, but I did adapt to the fact that the
term "GP" is now widely used). One obvious question
would then be: who was the first to implement GP? Does
Holland and Reitman's 1978 system of if-then-else rules
qualify as "standard GAs applied to programs"? Does
Smith's? Or are both systems actually something else,
say, part of classifier-like systems? Can someone
clear this up?
5. Koza mentions that he occasionally cited Cramer
together with many others and claims: "My practice of
making bibliographic citations has consistently
recognized that my work (like everyone else's) builds
on the good ideas of predecessors".
This is misleading at best. In places much more visible
than Koza's rare Cramer citations (e.g. his web sites and
a recent article in Scientific American) he repeatedly
claimed he "invented GP" without even mentioning Cramer
or others, systematically misleading GP novices.
Koza promoted GP, but no matter how you look at it,
by no standards he can claim he "invented GP". Clearly
someone else did.
Instead of posting long defensive messages, the honest
thing would be to step forward and say: "True, I did not
invent GP. But I did a lot to popularize it."
Meta-GP and Turing-complete GP (1987):
GP with loops etc (1987):