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One of the elements of the evolutionary algorithm -- variation, selection, retention.

Source: Weick, 1979, p 202:

Several images could be used to summarize what the selection process consists of:
Retrospective sense-making is the key metaphor that shows what selection does. The selection process also acts as if it contains solutions in search of problems. Selection activity matches solutions with people, problems, and choices. These solutions are stored in the retention process in the form of enacted environments that are imposed on equivocal enactments to generate understanding.

The image of figure-ground relationships is also a useful means to describe what happens in selection. Selection differentiates a variety of figures from a variety of grounds and then stabilizes one or more of those figure-ground relationships with a combination of nouns (variables) and verbs (connections). The differentiation, labeling, and connecting are presumed to be constrained by enacted environments into which the newer equivocal enactments are assimilated.