This thesis is dedicated to all my family and friends. (So you’d better read it! — I’ll be asking questions!) 2 This thesis introduces a new approach to program representation in genetic program-ming in which interactions between program components are expressed in terms of a component’s behaviour rather through its relative position within a representation or through other non-behavioural systems of reference. This approach has the advantage that a component’s behaviour is expressed in a way that is independent of any par-ticular program it finds itself within; and thereby overcomes the problem when using conventional program representations whereby program components lose their be-havioural context following recombination. More generally, this implicit context rep-resentation leads to a process of meaningful variation filtering; whereby inappropriate change induced by variation operators can be wholly or partially ignored. This occurs as a consequence of program behaviours emerging from the self-organisation of pro
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