No Free Lunch Theorem

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From http://web.archive.org/web/20030118104758/http://www.msewell.f9.co.uk/nfl.htm

For any pair of search algorithms, there are "as many" problems for which the first algorithm outperforms the second as for which the reverse is true. One consequence of this is that if we don't put any domain knowledge into our algorithm, it is as likely to perform worse than random search, as it is likely to perform better. This is true for all algorithms including GeneticAlgorithms.

See also http://www.no-free-lunch.org/
The phrase NoFreeLunch was used in RobertHeinlein's TheMoonIsaHarshMistress as the phrase "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch" or TANSTAAFL

It was originally used by ethicist AlvinHansen in a 1952 issue of the journal Ethics. Hansen's quote was the grammatically correct TINSTAAFL, "There is no such thing as a free lunch."

Or just "No free lunch", as they say in the NFL.

See also FreeLunch
CategoryEvolution

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