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Subject: Re: MATLAB Central Spring Contest
Date: Wed, 7 May 2008 14:13:04 +0000 (UTC)
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> If randomness is forbidden, genetic algorithms, simulated 
> annealing or even a random walk are forbidden, too. Only 
> deterministic algorithms are allowed in this case, no 
> matter how inefficient they might be.

In my view, you compare two different things here: Genetic
algorithms and such are tools for finding an optimal
parameter set. The solver algorithm itself is then used for
solving the problem, using the parameters found in a step
before. 

If you look at the entries using randomness in this contest,
there is not the slightest sign that something like a
genetic algorithm is applied there.

> Tweaking can be prevented by removing or deactivating the 
> functionality for reading and editing existing code. 

No, there are simple ways to upload submissions
automatically. You can even do it simply from within Matlab!
I know which Matlab function one can use for it, but I won't
tell it to anyone now :-)

> However, tweaking is allowed in this contest and it is done 
> by people who understand the code others wrote. 

No!! For tweaking, you don't need any clue about how the
code itself works! Just play around a bit with the
parameters, let one solver run more than once and select the
best result, or combine two different solvers and choose the
better result and sometimes you will find an improvement.
You don't need to understand the algorithms themselfes for that.

Markus