Geophysical Research Letters

Genetic algorithms: An evolution from Monte Carlo Methods for strongly non-linear geophysical optimization problems

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Abstract

In providing a method for solving non-linear optimization problems Monte Carlo techniques avoid the need for linearization but, in practice, are often prohibitive because of the large number of models that must be considered. A new class of methods known as Genetic Algorithms have recently been devised in the field of Artificial Intelligence. We outline the basic concept of genetic algorithms and discuss three examples. We show that, in locating an optimal model, the new technique is far superior in performance to Monte Carlo techniques in all cases considered. However, Monte Carlo integration is still regarded as an effective method for the subsequent model appraisal.

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