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4.2 Genetic Algorithms     continued...

GAs differ from traditional optimization algorithms in four important respects:

Of course, GAs share the last two attributes with SA and, not surprisingly, have found applications in many of the same areas.

The basic structure of a GA is shown in Figure 20. One minor change from the standard optimization routine flow diagram is the use of the word `population' rather than `solution.' A more major difference is that the usual operation of generating a new solution has been replaced by three separate activities --- population selection, recombination and mutation.

Figure 20: The Basic Structure of a Genetic Algorithm.