Chapter 0 Model Building, Model Testing and Model Fitting J.E. Everett Department of Information Management and Marketing The University of Western Australia Nedlands, Western Australia 6009 Phone (618) 9380-2908, Fax (618) 9380-1004 e-mail [email protected]

Abstract Genetic algorithms are useful for testing and fitting quantitative models. Sensible discussion of this use of genetic algorithms depends upon a clear view of the nature of quantitative model building and testing. We consider the formulation of such models, and the various approaches that might be taken to fit model parameters. Available optimization methods are discussed, ranging from analytical methods, through various types of hill-climbing, randomized search and genetic algorithms. A number of examples illustrate that modeling problems do not fall neatly into this clear-cut hierarchy. Consequently, a judicious selection of hybrid methods, selected according to the model context, is preferred to any pure method alone in designing efficient and effective methods for fitting parameters to quantitative models.