CS 5073 Take Home Exam

Due 11:59 pm, Monday, 26 November 2018

1. Motivation

To test your understanding of artificial neural networks (ANNs), evolutionary computation (EC), and neuroevolution, this exam requires you to design a neuroevolutionary system and experimental setup that, if implemented, could be used to study an interesting set of research questions related to topics we have covered in this class. You will need to think carefully about the interrelationships of ANN and EC design, as well as experimental design in general, in designing this neuroevolutionary system.

2. Goal

The goal of this assignment is to test your understanding of course concepts by requiring you to apply them to an authentic neuroevolutionary problem.

3. Assignment

Design a neuroevolutionary system and associated experimental setup to use for studying the following. Be sure to specify and justify all aspects of this system and setup. Write up your design in the form (length, tone, content, etc.) of an experimental design section of a research paper.

Note that this design should be sufficiently detailed such that any person who is proficient in the relevant topics (neuroevolution and software development) could implement code to carry out the neuroevolutionary experiments you describe and get results that are highly likely to be in accordance with the results that would be obtained by any other person who is also proficient in the relevant topics who independently implemented code to carry out the experiments you describe. That is, you do not need to explain neuroevolution or software development in your description. However, all of the particulars of your design necessary to carry out the experiments and arrive at the results should be given.

Note also that you will not actually implement this design nor carry out the experiments. You will only be designing and writing up the system and the experiments which someone could carry out. You will not include a results section because you will have no results to report but you should explain the types of data that would be collected, if someone were to carry out these experiments, and how that data would be analyzed.

Problem Description

Prof H wants to study topology and rule evolving artificial neural networks (TREANNs). TREANNs are somewhat similar to topology and weight evolving artificial neural networks (TWEANNs), except that instead of evolving network topology together with fixed weights for solving static problems, TREANNs evolve network topology together with learning rules that allow the resulting ANNs to adjust their weights over time through a learning process. This could allow the ANNs to deal with dynamic environments as well as being suitable for static problems. Moreover, Prof H wants to discover highly novel learning rules that are suitable for neural topologies that may be radically different from those generally used, yet are competitive with state-of-the-art systems. However, to keep things somewhat focused, he wants to study deep TREANNs for image classification and object detection and, as a starting point, he simply wants a proof-of-concept system that shows that novel topologies and learning rules are possible.

In designing your neuroevolutionary system and associated experiments, here are some questions to consider:

Note that you do not have to consider all or even many possible neuroevolutionary designs and/or experiments appropriate to explore these ideas. A single system and a single experiment is sufficient.

5. What to Turn In

You will turn in to the appropriate drop box in Canvas a machine readable electronic copy of your work that completes the exercise above.