The Survivor Selection Policy determines which individuals are to be kicked out and which are to be kept in the next generation. It is crucial as it should ensure that the fitter individuals are not kicked out of the population, while at the same time diversity should be maintained in the population.
Some GAs employ Elitism. In simple terms, it means the current fittest member of the population is always propagated to the next generation. Therefore, under no circumstance can the fittest member of the current population be replaced.
The easiest policy is to kick random members out of the population, but such an approach frequently has convergence issues, therefore the following strategies are widely used.
In Age-Based Selection, we don’t have a notion of a fitness. It is based on the premise that each individual is allowed in the population for a finite generation where it is allowed to reproduce, after that, it is kicked out of the population no matter how good its fitness is.
For instance, in the following example, the age is the number of generations for which the individual has been in the population. The oldest members of the population i.e. P4 and P7 are kicked out of the population and the ages of the rest of the members are incremented by one.
In this fitness based selection, the children tend to replace the least fit individuals in the population. The selection of the least fit individuals may be done using a variation of any of the selection policies described before – tournament selection, fitness proportionate selection, etc.
For example, in the following image, the children replace the least fit individuals P1 and P10 of the population. It is to be noted that since P1 and P9 have the same fitness value, the decision to remove which individual from the population is arbitrary.