CS 5073 Take Home Exam

Due 11:59 pm, Friday, 1 December 2017

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 but 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 the relationships between the transmission of acquired information from parents to offspring and the evolution of individual learning in artificial neural networks. In particular, he wants to know the conditions under which such transmission might inhibit and/or promote the evolution of individual learning. That is, if parents were able to transmit to their offspring any information acquired during their own (the parents’s) lifetimes, either transmitted to them by their own parents or learned on their own, would that inhibit or promote the evolution of individual learning? Or, if the answer is that under certain conditions this information transmission is likely to inhibit the evolution of individual learning and under other conditions this information transmission is likely to promote the evolution of individual learning, what are those conditions?

As a starting point for designing this system and experimental setup, please consider the papers in Files > Readings > Evolution of Learning in Canvas.

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.