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Two of the most common genetic algorithm implementations are 'simple' and 'steady state'. The simple genetic algorithm is described by Goldberg in his 1989 book, Genetic Algorithms in Search and Optimization. It is a generational algorithm in which the entire population is replaced each generation.

The steady state genetic algorithm is used by the Genitor program. In this algorithm, only a few individuals are replaced each 'generation'. This type of replacement is often referred to as overlapping populations.

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