Many scientists and engineers now use the paradigms of evolutionary computation (genetic algorithms, evolution strategies, evolutionary programming, genetic programming, classifier systems, and combinations or hybrids thereof) to tackle problems that are either intractable or unrealistically time consuming to solve through traditional computational strategies. Recently there have been vigorous initiatives to promote cross-fertilization between the EC paradigms, and also to combine these paradigms with other approaches such as neural networks to create hybrid systems with enhanced capabilities. To address the need for speedy dissemination of new ideas in these fields, and also to assist in cross-disciplinary communications and understanding, Oxford University Press and the Institute of Physics have joined forces to create a major reference publication devoted to EC fundamentals, models, algorithms and applications. This work is intended to become the standard reference resource for the evolutionary computation community. The Handbook of Evolutionary Computation will be available in loose-leaf print form, as well as in an electronic version that combines both CD-ROM and on-line (World Wide Web) access to its contents. Regularly published supplements will be available on a subscription basis.