Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


Chilukuri K. Mohan


diversity, ensemble model, evolvability, fitness, information distance, mutual information

Subject Categories

Electrical and Computer Engineering


The vital essence of evolutionary learning consists of information flows between the environment and the entities differentially surviving and reproducing therein. Gain or loss of information in individuals and populations due to evolutionary steps should be considered in evolutionary algorithm theory and practice. Information theory has rarely been applied to evolutionary computation - a lacuna that this dissertation addresses, with an emphasis on objectively and explicitly evaluating the ensemble models implicit in evolutionary learning. Information theoretic functionals can provide objective, justifiable, general, computable, commensurate measures of fitness and diversity.

We identify information transmission channels implicit in evolutionary learning. We define information distance metrics and indices for ensembles. We extend Price's Theorem to non-random mating, give it an effective fitness interpretation and decompose it to show the key factors influencing heritability and evolvability. We argue that heritability and evolvability of our information theoretic indicators are high. We illustrate use of our indices for reproductive and survival selection. We develop algorithms to estimate information theoretic quantities on mixed continuous and discrete data via the empirical copula and information dimension. We extend statistical resampling. We present experimental and real world application results: chaotic time series prediction; parity; complex continuous functions; industrial process control; and small sample social science data. We formalize conjectures regarding evolutionary learning and information geometry.


Open Access