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.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Thanks for the kind words about the Field Guide

We occasionally have the gratifying experience of stumbling across someone who's said something nice about the Field Guide out there on the Internet. Recently, for example, Bill came across this comment on GeneticProgramming.us

The Field Guide to Genetic Programming was compiled from numerous sources to reflect the current state and practice of Genetic Programming. This book is an invaluable asset to anybody interested in Genetic Programming. I highly recommend it. It is available for free online, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have a hard copy.
We greatly appreciate this sort of support. It's nice to know that people are finding the Field Guide useful, and are willing to spread the word. Many thanks to everyone who's put a little of their energy into our project.

Quite remarkably, the Field Guide continues to sell steadily on Amazon despite being freely available in multiple formats. Our sales rank on Amazon.com is (as of today) #198,789. This may not sound like much, but for a quite specific technical book in an area of computer science most people haven't heard of this is pretty darn excellent! A quick survey of some of the other heavy hitters in the EC book list shows that they're all ranked over 200K, with many much higher (like over 500K). That said, Melanie Mitchell's new Complexity: A guided tour (which is a general audience book) is ranked 2,981, which is a really excellent achievement - congratulations to Melanie!

If you're a reader of either the PDF or printed version and would like to lend a hand, feel free to leave a short review on something like Amazon - it's definitely appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to express my thanks to Riccardo, Bill and Nic for such a great resource, and for the inspired way in which it's published. Examining the TinyGP code is a valuable exercise in understanding how 'easy' a baseline GP system can be. Congratulations to you!

It's a pity the discussion forum is only accessible via a Google account though, as that must put a few people off (it does me). There doesn't seem to be any other broad GP discussion board on the Web that's not dominated by spam, or is there?

Nic McPhee said...

Thanks for the kind words :-).

Unfortunately I don't know of any broad forums on any subject that aren't dominated by spam unless they require some kind of authentication. One of the sad realities of the success of the web. If anyone knows of an alternative, though, please share!

Ashish Kumar said...

Great content, thanks for sharing such an informative article with us!!!!!!!!!!!!!