Genetic algorithms (GA) are one of the standard optimization methods. They work by evolving a population of trial solutions towards better solutions using biological inspired genetic operators. The trial solutions are also called individuums. The above graphics shows the evolution of a particular genetic algorithm – genetic programming – solving a problem of symbolic regression. It shows beautifully how the GA optimizes the problem. The above graphic can be used for visual debugging. Furthermore, it uncovers the beauty of a complex algorithm.
The full visualization with additional explanation can be found here.