Gene Hunter is a powerful software solution for optimization problems which utilizes a state-of-the-art genetic algorithm methodology.
Gene Hunter includes an Excel Add-In which allows the user to run an optimization problem from Microsoft Excel, as well as a Dynamic Link Library of genetic algorithm functions that may be called from programming languages such as Microsoft Visual Basic or C.
There are many mathematical methods which can optimize problems of this nature (and very quickly) for fairly "well-behaved" problems.
These traditional methods tend to break down when the problem is not so "well-behaved." Before describing how a genetic algorithm can be applied to an optimization problem, let us draw the evolutionary parallel.
The theory is that a population of a certain species will, after many generations, adapt to live better in its environment.
For example, if the species is an animal that lives mainly in a swampy area, it may eventually evolve with webbed feet.
Gene Hunter takes two individuals and mates them (crossover), the offspring of the mated pair will receive some of the characteristics of the mother and some of the father.
Includes the following example programs in an Excel workbook. A camp leader needs to purchase the food supplies for an overnight camping trip for a group of 20 people.Genetic algorithms (GAs) seek to solve optimization problems using the methods of evolution, specifically survival of the fittest.In a typical optimization problem, there are a number of variables which control the process, and a formula or algorithm which combines the variables to fully model the process.The problem is then to find the values of the variables which optimize the model in some way.If the model is a formula, then we will usually be seeking the maximum or minimum value of the formula.You may also use Excel macros or Visual Basic functions to create a formula that allows you to solve very complex problems.You may even use a neural net to model the process if you don't have an appropriate mathematical formula!The reason is that the members of this population, which we call individuals, will tend to die if they are poor swimmers which cannot easily get food, and live to reproduce if they are good swimmers.The offspring of two good swimmers will probably be good swimmers because they will usually carry genetic traits of their parents, such as slight webbing between their toes.As Gene Hunter mates fit individuals and mutates some, the population undergoes a generation change.The population will then consist of offspring plus a few of the older individuals which Gene Hunter allows to survive to the next generation.