A library for generating artificial datasets through genetic evolution.

## Project description

EDO

***

**E**\volutionary **D**\ataset **O**\ptimisation.

A library for generating artificial datasets through genetic evolution.

=======================================================================

Typically, when faced with a problem in data science, the data is fixed and the

researcher must select an algorithm that suits both the problem and performs

well on the data. This is typically done by running multiple algorithms on the

dataset or by justifying a choice based on the findings of the current

literature. But what makes that data "good" for the algorithm? Why is it that an

algorithm performs well on some datasets and not others?

The purpose of this library is to create a population of families of datasets

for which a specific algorithm performs well with respect to its objective

function. This function is passed to a genetic algorithm (GA) where each

individual represents a family of datasets defined by their dimensions, and the

statistical shape of each of its columns. The fitness of an individual is taken

using some amalgamation of the fitnesses from a sample of datasets belonging to

its family.

Through this genetic algorithm, the hope is to not only build up banks of

effective datasets for a particular algorithm but to give the user the ability

to determine and study the preferred characteristics of such datasets.

Moreover, since this GA can take any fitness function as argument, two or more

algorithms can be compared at once. For example, by considering two similar

algorithms :math:`A` and :math:`B` with fitness functions :math:`f_A` and

:math:`f_B` respectively. Then for a suitable dataset :math:`X` consider the

fitness function, denoted by :math:`f`, and

given by:

.. math::

f(X) = f_A(X) - f_B(X)

This fitness function, when passed to the GA, will attempt to generate

individuals for which algorithm :math:`A` outperforms algorithm :math:`B`.

What is a genetic algorithm?

============================

Genetic algorithms (GAs) form a branch of search and optimisation methods that

utilise the concept of natural selection. GAs work by creating populations of

individuals based on their fitness. These individuals are potential solutions in

the search space and are typically represented by a string of "alleles".

Together, these alleles form a "chromosome" representation. Most GAs, regardless

of their application, have the following operators:

* **Selection:** A method for selecting a subset of individuals from the current

population for producing the next. Almost always based on the fitness of the

individuals.

* **Crossover:** An operator on two individuals, often deemed to be "parents",

that creates one or more "offspring".

* **Mutation:** Takes each new offspring in turn and changes ("mutates") each of

their alleles with some probability.

A schematic of a generic GA is given below.

.. image:: ./docs/_static/flowchart.svg

:alt: A schematic for a genetic algorithm

:width: 80 %

:align: center

.. include:: INSTALLATION.rst

***

**E**\volutionary **D**\ataset **O**\ptimisation.

A library for generating artificial datasets through genetic evolution.

=======================================================================

Typically, when faced with a problem in data science, the data is fixed and the

researcher must select an algorithm that suits both the problem and performs

well on the data. This is typically done by running multiple algorithms on the

dataset or by justifying a choice based on the findings of the current

literature. But what makes that data "good" for the algorithm? Why is it that an

algorithm performs well on some datasets and not others?

The purpose of this library is to create a population of families of datasets

for which a specific algorithm performs well with respect to its objective

function. This function is passed to a genetic algorithm (GA) where each

individual represents a family of datasets defined by their dimensions, and the

statistical shape of each of its columns. The fitness of an individual is taken

using some amalgamation of the fitnesses from a sample of datasets belonging to

its family.

Through this genetic algorithm, the hope is to not only build up banks of

effective datasets for a particular algorithm but to give the user the ability

to determine and study the preferred characteristics of such datasets.

Moreover, since this GA can take any fitness function as argument, two or more

algorithms can be compared at once. For example, by considering two similar

algorithms :math:`A` and :math:`B` with fitness functions :math:`f_A` and

:math:`f_B` respectively. Then for a suitable dataset :math:`X` consider the

fitness function, denoted by :math:`f`, and

given by:

.. math::

f(X) = f_A(X) - f_B(X)

This fitness function, when passed to the GA, will attempt to generate

individuals for which algorithm :math:`A` outperforms algorithm :math:`B`.

What is a genetic algorithm?

============================

Genetic algorithms (GAs) form a branch of search and optimisation methods that

utilise the concept of natural selection. GAs work by creating populations of

individuals based on their fitness. These individuals are potential solutions in

the search space and are typically represented by a string of "alleles".

Together, these alleles form a "chromosome" representation. Most GAs, regardless

of their application, have the following operators:

* **Selection:** A method for selecting a subset of individuals from the current

population for producing the next. Almost always based on the fitness of the

individuals.

* **Crossover:** An operator on two individuals, often deemed to be "parents",

that creates one or more "offspring".

* **Mutation:** Takes each new offspring in turn and changes ("mutates") each of

their alleles with some probability.

A schematic of a generic GA is given below.

.. image:: ./docs/_static/flowchart.svg

:alt: A schematic for a genetic algorithm

:width: 80 %

:align: center

.. include:: INSTALLATION.rst

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