Beyond black-box optimization: a review of selective pressures for evolutionary robotics

Stephane Doncieux, Jean-Baptiste Mouret
2014 Evolutionary Intelligence  
Evolutionary robotics is often viewed as the application of a family of black-box optimization algorithms -evolutionary algorithms -to the design of robots, or parts of robots. When considering evolutionary robotics as black-box optimization, the selective pressure is mainly driven by a user-defined, black-box fitness function, and a domain-independent selection procedure. However, most evolutionary robotics experiments face similar challenges in similar setups: the selective pressure, and, in
more » ... articular, the fitness function, is not a pure user-defined black box. The present review shows that, because evolutionary robotics experiments share common features, selective pressures for evolutionary robotics are a subject of research on their own. The literature has been split into two categories: goal refiners, aimed at changing the definition of a good solution, and process helpers, designed to help the search process. Two subcategories are further considered: task-specific approaches, which require knowledge on how to solve the task and taskagnostic ones, which do not need it. Besides highlighting the diversity of the approaches and their respective goals, the present review shows that many task-agnostic process helpers have been proposed during the last years, thus bringing us closer to the goal of a fully automated robot behavior design process.
doi:10.1007/s12065-014-0110-x fatcat:zev64dia3vcszgefpujd4xxgzi