Brian G. Woolley and Kenneth O. Stanley (2014)
A Novel Human-Computer Collaboration: Combining Novelty Search with Interactive Evolution
In:Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference(GECCO-2014). New York, NY: ACM (8 pages).

Winner of the Best Paper Award in Artificial Life/Robotics/Evolvable Hardware at GECCO-2014


Recent work on novelty and behavioral diversity in evolutionary computation has highlighted the potential disadvantage of driving search purely through objective means.  This paper suggests that leveraging human insight during search can complement such novelty-driven approaches. In particular, a new approach called novelty-assisted interactive evolutionary computation (NA-IEC) combines human intuition with novelty search to facilitate the serendipitous discovery of agent behaviors in a deceptive maze. In this approach, the human user directs evolution by selecting what is interesting from the on-screen population of behaviors. However, unlike in typical IEC, the user can now request that the next generation be filled with novel descendants. The experimental results demonstrate that combining human insight with novelty search not only finds solutions significantly faster and at lower genomic complexities than fully-automated processes guided purely by fitness or novelty, but it also finds solutions faster than the traditional IEC approach. Such results add to the evidence that combining human users and automated processes creates a synergistic effect in the search for solutions.