About the book

Robot with transparent background A Field Guide to Genetic Programming (ISBN 978-1-4092-0073-4) is an introduction to genetic programming (GP). GP is a systematic, domain-independent method for getting computers to solve problems automatically starting from a high-level statement of what needs to be done. Using ideas from natural evolution, GP starts from an ooze of random computer programs, and progressively refines them through processes of mutation and sexual recombination, until solutions emerge. All this without the user having to know or specify the form or structure of solutions in advance. GP has generated a plethora of human-competitive results and applications, including novel scientific discoveries and patentable inventions.

The book is freely downloadable under a Creative Commons license as a PDF and low cost printed copies can be purchased from lulu.com. This web site will be used for information relating to the book, and other pertinent announcements. We also have a discussion group for questions and conversation related to the book.

Monday 31 March 2008

Photos from the grand unveiling

Tyler Hutchison (the Field Guide's cover artist) and I have uploaded all our EuroGP/EvoStar 2008 photos to Flickr. This includes several shots by Tyler of the grand unveiling of the Field Guide, including this photo of Bill and Wolfgang Banzhaf discussing the book. We also have photos from other EvoStar events such as Bill receiving his EvoStar award, and shots around the city of Naples.

This initial upload is without any cleaning or editing, so there's a fair amount of repetition, etc., but hopefully some folks will find it useful.

I know of one other batch of EvoStar photos that has already been uploaded: JJ Merelo has a nice EvoStar set on Flickr, and a slightly larger set that includes his sightseeing around Naples. If you have any photos from any part of the EvoStar event that you'd be willing to share, feel free to post a link in a comment here, or send us an e-mail at "authors AT gp-field-guide DOT uk DOT org". Being the vain creatures that we are, we're of course especially interested in photos of the book release and autographing :-), but any photos from the event are super cool!

Sunday 30 March 2008

A huge thanks to all our proofreaders!

It takes a village to raise a book, and we were extremely fortunate to have an enthusiastic and talented pool of proofreaders. They went through the Field Guide, helping us finding the inevitable typos, and pointing out places where our presentation didn't sparkle quite as much as we thought it did. We spent almost all of the last week before we wrapped the book simply processing their many comments. While I'm sure we didn't address every one of their suggestions, there were hundreds of changes made based on that feedback, and there's no question that the book is better for their hard work and generous efforts.

To quote from the acknowledgements:

We had the invaluable assistance of many people, and we are very grateful for their individual and collective efforts, often on very short timelines. Rick Riolo, Matthew Walker, Christian Gagne, Bob McKay, Giovanni Pazienza, and Lee Spector all provided useful suggestions based on an early technical report version. Yossi Borenstein, Caterina Cinel, Ellery Crane, Cecilia Di Chio, Stephen Dignum, Edgar Galván-López, Keisha Harriott, David Hunter, Lonny Johnson, Ahmed Kattan, Robert Keller, Andy Korth, Yevgeniya Kovalchuk, Simon Lucas, Wayne Manselle, Alberto Moraglio, Oliver Oechsle, Francisco Sepulveda, Elias Tawil, Edward Tsang, William Tozier and Christian Wagner all contributed to the final proofreading festival. Their sharp eyes and hard work did much to make the book better; any remaining errors or omissions are obviously the sole responsibility of the authors.

Thanks again to everyone who helped us get the book out the door!

Saturday 29 March 2008

Bill Langdon receives prestigious EvoStar award!

On Thursday night at the EvoStar banquet in Naples, Bill Langdon (along with Marc Schoenauer) were the fourth and fifth recipients of the prestigious EvoStar award for Outstanding Contributions to the field of Evolutionary Computation in Europe. This is in recognition of his numerous contributions in such areas as the planning and running of conferences and workshops, editing of journals and proceedings, and creation and management of key resources such as the GP Bibliography.

The previous recipients of the award include Field Guide author Riccardo Poli, as well as Jennifer Willies (the indefatigable admin that makes EvoStar happen year after year) and Wolfgang Banzhaf.

Congratulations to Bill - well done and well deserved! I'll shortly be posting photos of Bill receiving his award.

Thursday 27 March 2008

One heck of a party!

Last night's unveiling of A Field Guide to Genetic Programming was a huge success! We had one of the poster "stalls" with 50 copies of the book that we'd purchased from Lulu as our initial "print run". We were wearing cool t-shirts sporting that wonderful cover, had the nice poster shown to the right, and even had spiffy postcards with the cover to give away.

The book was a big hit with the Evo* crowd, and we sold out the full set of 50 pretty quickly. Lots of folks had us autograph their copies, many of which are now destined to be collector's items with the signatures of all three of the authors. Some even have the signature of Tyler Hutchison, who did the nifty cover art for us and helped a lot with the roll-out.

There were tons of photos taken at our booth, including candids of us signing and working the crowd, and posed shots with our cool Field Guide shirts. People have promised to send us photos and links, so check back in the next week or two for some of the finest in EC book release amateur photojournalism! (And if you've got a photo from the event, or a nifty shot of your copy in its place of pride on your bookshelves, please pass it along.)

As mentioned before, the book is now officially released and available to any and all via lulu.com, both in an inexpensive printed form (what we were selling last night) and as a free downloadable PDF.

So go check it out - 50 whole Field Guide fans can't be wrong!

Wednesday 26 March 2008

The book is now available!

The grand unveiling is going on as I type here at EuroGP 2008 in Naples. Head over to Lulu.com to purchase an inexpensive printed copy or download the free PDF version!

Thursday 20 March 2008

Almost ready for EuroGP!

We've ordered box or two of advance copies (a privilege of being the authors). They look really nice, and we're quite excited about the grand unveiling on Wednesday at EuroGP! For those of you coming to Naples, definitely stop by our table at the poster session that night -- you'll be able to check out printed copies and maybe even score a postcard featuring that wonderful cover :-).

Whether you're coming to EuroGP or not, we'll be "turning on" the Lulu site Wednesday, so people can buy printed copies and download the PDF for free. And as a teaser, the image above is the entire book, just really, really small! If you click on it you can see it a little bigger, but I still recommend waiting a few days for the Real Deal.

Monday 10 March 2008

It's nearly ready

About time to wrap this up
We ordered our first test copy a week or two ago just so we could see what the printing would look like from Lulu, what the cover would look like, and how some of our graphs and diagrams would turn out. It was quite exciting to see an actual copy, even if the insides where incomplete and in serious need of the proofreading that was to follow. It somehow made it all seem more real.

Things are currently on track for a late March release. Stay tuned for more details!