Genetic Programming has been used to determine Chèzy resistance coefficient for full circular corrugated channels. Three corrugated plastic pipes have been experimentally studied in order to generate data. The tests aim at measuring hydraulic parameters of the open-channel flow for some slopes, from 3.49–17.37% (2–10°), in order to discover the dependence of the channel resistance coefficient when wake-interference flow occurs. The monomial formula for the Chèzy resistance coefficient performs well on experimental data, both from measurement errors and from a technical point of view. In this paper, we present some very parsimonious formulae that have been created by Genetic Programming with few constants and which fit the data better than the monomial formula. Moreover, two of the Genetic Programming formulae, after ‘physical post-refinement’, seem to better explain the role of the roughness in the Chèzy resistance coefficient for corrugated channels with respect to its traditional expression for rough channels. This fact suggests that at least the structure of those formulae can be extrapolated to other types of corrugated channels. Finally, the work stresses the fact that the Genetic Programming hypothesis can be easily manipulated by means of ‘human’ physical insight. Therefore, Genetic Programming should be considered more than a simple data-driven technique, especially when it is used to perform scientific discovery.

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