Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Cyber Operations


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Gilbert L. Peterson, PhD


Cognitive science has proposed that a way people learn is through self-critiquing by generating 'what-if' strategies for events (simulation). It is theorized that people use this method to learn something new as well as to learn more quickly. This research adds this concept to a graph-based genetic program. Memories are recorded during fitness assessment and retained in a global memory bank based on the magnitude of change in the agent’s energy and age of the memory. Between generations, candidate agents perform in simulations of the stored memories. Candidates that perform similarly to good memories and differently from bad memories are more likely to be included in the next generation. The simulation-informed genetic program is evaluated in two domains: sequence matching and Robocode. Results indicate the algorithm does not perform equally in all environments. In sequence matching, experiential evaluation fails to perform better than the control. However, in Robocode, the experiential evaluation method initially outperforms the control then stagnates and often regresses. This is likely an indication that the algorithm is over-learning a single solution rather than adapting to the environment and that learning through simulation includes a satisficing component.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number