I have come across some papers discussing the use of genetic algorithms as a forecasting tool. I don't however understand how a genetic algorithm, which to my (limited) knowledge is used to solve optimization problems, can be used for forecasting.
I do realize this is a very general question, but a simplified explanation and suggestions for how to get started with such forecasts would be very helpful and I'm sure of interest to others as well.
Bonde, G., & Khaled, R. (2010). Stock price prediction using genetic algorithms and evolution strategies. Institute of Artificial Intelligence, University of Georgia. Athens.