[ExI] mersenne primes again

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Apr 2 01:47:32 UTC 2010

> ...On Behalf Of Mike Dougherty
> ...

Apologies I am near or past my posting limit for the day, but I will be away
for the weekend, so somewhere on this planet it is already tomorrow.
> Have you read anything about Genetic Algorithms as a solution finder?

Read on them, written them, had a blast programming my brains out with it.
The spreadsheet format is an especially useful programming environment for
doing this kind of experimentation, especially as one gets hot with the

> I'm working on an undergrad seminar paper that discusses a GA 
> implemented in SQL for the purpose of discovering a 
> relationship between keywords in a person's business title 
> and their likelihood of clicking on a link in an email...

Ja, a great example of where SQL is way better than the spreadsheet format.

> The beauty of the genetic algorithm is that it finds 'pretty good'
> solutions even when the ideal solution is not known and when 
> there are too many interdependent variables to make other 
> solution finders perform in reasonable time...


>...I was mostly curious if you've even heard of genetic algorithms...Mike

Ja, actually I think most people have at least heard of it, and plenty of
amateur programmers have tried to use the principles.  I thought of the
genetic algorithm as the logical extrapolation of the field we geezers used
to call the calculus of variation.  I wrote a technical paper about this
(calculus of variation, not yet called genetic algorithms) in 1994 for an
engineering society.  The notion was that one had to set a bunch of
interconnected variables to optimize a number of outputs.  The trick was to
find how all the variables interacted.  Fun stuff!

Mike I need to get up to speed on what the genetic algorithm guys have been
doing recently, so thanks for mentioning it.


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