An investigation into the use of genetic algorithms for shape recognition

Egan, Thomas Michael (1999). An investigation into the use of genetic algorithms for shape recognition. PhD thesis The Open University.



The use of the genetic algorithm for shape recognition has been investigated in relation to features along a shape boundary contour. Various methods for encoding chromosomes were investigated, the most successful of which led to the development of a new technique to input normalised 'perceptually important point' features from the contour into a genetic algorithm. Chromosomes evolve with genes defining various ways of 'observing' different parts of the contour. The normalisation process provides the capability for multi-scale spatial frequency filtering and fine/coarse resolution of the contour features. A standard genetic algorithm was chosen for this investigation because its performance can be analysed by applying schema analysis to the genes. A new method for measurement of gene diversity has been developed. It is shown that this diversity measure can be used to direct the genetic algorithm parameters to evolve a number of 'good' chromosomes. In this way a variety of sections along the contour can be observed. A new and effective recognition technique has been developed which makes use of these 'good' chromosomes and the same fitness calculation as used in the genetic algorithm. Correct recognition can be achieved by selecting chromosomes and adjusting two thresholds, the values of which are found not to be critical. Difficulties associated with the calculation of a shape's fitness were analysed and the structure of the genes in the chromosome investigated using schema and epistatic analysis. It was shown that the behaviour of the genetic algorithm is compatible with the schema theorem of J. H. Holland. Reasons are given to explain the minimum value for the mutation probability that is required for the evolution of a number of' good' chromosomes. Suggestions for future research are made and, in particular, it is recommended that the convergence properties of the standard genetic algorithm be investigated.

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