This chapter provides a high-level overview of Wallace.jl, installation instructions, information on the different ways to interact with Wallace, and an example algorithm for solving the Max Ones problem.



The latest stable version of Wallace can be installed via a simple one line command from within the Julia REPL, given below:


Alternatively, if you wish to install the bleeding-edge version of Wallace from the master GitHub branch, you may do so by executing the following from within the REPL instead:


If Wallace is already installed on your system, but you believe it to be out of date, you may execute the following command via the REPL:


For information on installing the latest version of Julia, visit the Downloads page of the Julia website, at: http://julialang.org/downloads/

Using Wallace

There are a number of different ways in which you may wish to interact with Wallace, several of which are described below:

Julia REPL (Read-Eval-Print-Loop)

The simplest way to started with Wallace is through Julia’s built-in REPL, which can be accessed by simply typing julia into the terminal (once Julia has been installed). Once the REPL has been loaded, one may use the using Wallace statement to import the Wallace environment into the workspace, allowing them to interact with Wallace.

shell> julia

julia> using Wallace

Once inside the REPL, you may make use of Julia’s help function, invoked by typing ? into the prompt, followed by the name of a particular representation, operator, algorithm, or other entity within Wallace (or Julia) that you wish to learn more about. An example use of the help function is shown below:

julia> using Wallace
help?> mutation.bit_flip
  Performs bit-flip mutation on a fixed or variable length chromosome of binary digits, by flipping 1s to 0s and 0s to 1s at each point
  within the chromosome with a given probability, equal to the mutation rate.


    • stage::AbstractString, the name of the developmental stage that this operator should be applied to.
      Defaults to the genotype if no stage is specified.
    • rate::Float, the probability of a bit flip at any given index. Defaults to 0.01 if no rate is provided.

Script Execution

Alternatively you can treat your Wallace algorithms as you would any other Julia code, and write a standard Julia script to execute them. In order to access the functionality provided by Wallace, you must import the Wallace package.

shell> julia my_script.jl

IJulia Graphical Notebook

Another way to interact with Wallace is through IJulia, a powerful graphical web-based notebook front-end for Julia. More details about IJulia, including how it should be installed, can be found at: https://github.com/JuliaLang/IJulia.jl.

Once IJulia has been installed, you may start a new notebook, using Wallace, by following the commands below:

julia> using IJulia
julia> notebook()

ijulia> using Wallace


Below is the source code for the Max Ones benchmark problem provided in the examples package. First an algorithm definition is specified, using algorithm.genetic, then it is composed into an optimised algorithm instance, before finally the algorithm instance is run using run!.

# Provide a definition for the algorithm.
def = algorithm.genetic() do alg
  alg.population = population.simple() do pop
    pop.size = 100

    # Species describes the fitness scheme and representation used by
    # individuals belonging to that species.
    pop.species = species.simple() do sp
      sp.fitness = fitness.scalar(Int)
      sp.representation = representation.bit_vector(100)

    # Multi-threading breeding.
    pop.breeder = breeder.flat() do br
      br.threads = 8
      br.selection = selection.tournament(2)
      br.mutation = mutation.bit_flip(1.0)
      br.crossover = crossover.one_point(0.1)

  # Evaluation function (split across 8 threads).
  alg.evaluator = evaluator.simple(Dict{ASCIIString, Any}("threads" => 8)) do scheme, genome
    assign(scheme, sum(genome))

  # Termination conditions.
  alg.termination["generations"] = criterion.generations(1000)

# Compose the algorithm from its definition.
alg = compose!(def)

# Run the composed algorithm.


If you plan on using Wallace for your research, we encourage you to cite the paper below. Additionally, put in a merge request, and we will add your paper to the list of papers using Wallace.

  author = {Timperley, Christopher Steven and Stepney, Susan},
  title = {Wallace: An efficient generic evolutionary framework},
  booktitle={ECAL 15},
  organization={MIT Press}