This is what the Basic Demo looks like.
Looks pretty busy, eh? Suppose we take it apart.
First of all, white indicates a field that you can edit.
Second, yellow fields you can't change.
Third, click on the "?" box for a brief explanation.
Last, HAVE FUN!
So here goes with what the various pieces are.
This is where you enter the Population Size and the number of Generations. Play with these numbers to see how it affects the time to solve for the goal.
You can enter any sentence up to 50 characters. Use the default your first try, then experiment.
This is where you can watch the latest best solution. Below that is a "Fitness" number which is the value when the last "best-so-far" individual was evaluated against the goal. The Generation of the latest "best-so-far" is the other field.
Time, Buttons, and Disco
This little section displays the elapsed time (fairly accurate considering all that's going on), and has START and RESET buttons. They do what you would imagine. Between the START and RESET buttons is the "DISCO" display which changes everytime a new "best-so-far" solution is found. This will keep you from falling asleep. (Had to think of some reason to get a little animation into the display).
Status and Info
The status line will give you updates from the thread that is running the algorithm. You'll see the beginning "best-so-far" at the beginning, and then a report at the end of the run. Note: the algorithm is programmed to quit if there are no changes in the "best-so-far" after 400 generations. The Info Box is where you get the brief messages when you click on a "?" button.
There are 3 things under your control with the Basic Demo:
We have supplied defaults for all of the above, so on your first try, just use the defaults and hit the START button.
- The POPULATION size, i.e., how many individuals to create,
- The GENERATIONS, i.e., the maximum generations for the evolution, and
- The GOAL, i.e., the string (complete sentences, please*) to seek.
*required if you are an English Major or have a Doctorate.