Evolving Shepherding Behavior with Genetic Programming Algorithms

03/19/2016 ∙ by Joshua Brulé, et al. ∙ 0

We apply genetic programming techniques to the `shepherding' problem, in which a group of one type of animal (sheep dogs) attempts to control the movements of a second group of animals (sheep) obeying flocking behavior. Our genetic programming algorithm evolves an expression tree that governs the movements of each dog. The operands of the tree are hand-selected features of the simulation environment that may allow the dogs to herd the sheep effectively. The algorithm uses tournament-style selection, crossover reproduction, and a point mutation. We find that the evolved solutions generalize well and outperform a (naive) human-designed algorithm.

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