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The intersection of evolutionary computation and explainable AI.

Bacardit, Jaume; Brownlee, Alexander E.I.; Cagnoni, Stefano; Iacca, Giovanni; McCall, John; Walker, David


Jaume Bacardit

Alexander E.I. Brownlee

Stefano Cagnoni

Giovanni Iacca

David Walker


Jonathan E. Fieldsend


In the past decade, Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) has attracted a great interest in the research community, motivated by the need for explanations in critical AI applications. Some recent advances in XAI are based on Evolutionary Computation (EC) techniques, such as Genetic Programming. We call this trend EC for XAI. We argue that the full potential of EC methods has not been fully exploited yet in XAI, and call the community for future efforts in this field. Likewise, we find that there is a growing concern in EC regarding the explanation of population-based methods, i.e., their search process and outcomes. While some attempts have been done in this direction (although, in most cases, those are not explicitly put in the context of XAI), we believe that there are still several research opportunities and open research questions that, in principle, may promote a safer and broader adoption of EC in real-world applications. We call this trend XAI within EC. In this position paper, we briefly overview the main results in the two above trends, and suggest that the EC community may play a major role in the achievement of XAI.


BACARDIT, J., BROWNLEE, A.E.I., CAGNONI, S., IACCA, G., MCCALL, J. and WALKER, D. 2022. The intersection of evolutionary computation and explainable AI. In Fieldsend, J. (ed.) GECCO'22 companion: proceedings of 2022 Genetic and evolutionary computation conference companion, 9-13 July 2022, Boston, USA, [virtual event]. New York: ACM [online], pages 1757-1762. Available from:

Conference Name 2022 Genetic and evolutionary computation conference (GECCO '22)
Conference Location Boston, USA [virtual event]
Start Date Jul 9, 2022
End Date Jul 13, 2022
Acceptance Date Mar 22, 2022
Online Publication Date Jun 19, 2022
Publication Date Jul 31, 2022
Deposit Date Dec 13, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 13, 2022
Publisher ACM Association for Computing Machinery
Pages 1757-1762
Book Title GECCO '22 companion: proceedings of the genetic and evolutionary computation conference
ISBN 9781450392686
Keywords Explainable artificial intelligence; Evolutionary computation; Optimization; Machine learning
Public URL


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