Gaining Insight into Quality Diversity
Recently there has been a growing movement of researchers that believes innovation and novelty creation, rather than pure optimization, are the true strengths of evolutionary algorithms relative to other forms of machine learning. This idea also provides one possible explanation for why evolutionary processes may exist in nervous systems on top of other forms of learning. One particularly exciting corollary of this, is that evolutionary algorithms may be used to produce what Pugh et al have dubbed Quality Diversity (QD): as many as possible different solutions (according to some characterization), which are all as fit as possible. While the notion of QD implies choosing the dimensions on which to measure diversity and performance, we propose that it may be possible (and desirable) to free the evolutionary process from requiring defining these dimensions. Toward that aim, we seek to understand more about QD in general by investigating how algorithms informed by different measures of diversity (or none at all) create QD, when that QD is measured in a diversity of ways.