1

How can I make the bold part of this sentence less awful?

The symbolic regression problem is the problem of finding a closed form that models...

You can move around the second part of the sentence, but not modify it.

2

The simplest alternative I see is

"The symbolic regression problem is that of finding a closed form..."

But if I understand your aim correctly, you may also want to use a synonym for the first instance of 'problem' that matches closely with 'goal'.

"The goal/purpose/aim of symbolic regression is finding a closed form..."

Or if you mean to emphasize the difficulty in actually doing symbolic regression, I'd use a synonym in that direction.

"The challenge of symbolic regression is the problem of finding a closed form..."

1

Depending on what the language means, it work to say,

"The symbolic regression problem is to find a closed form that models..."

Or perhaps you could substitute "issue" or "question" for "problem."

-1

Some minor variations on the answers already submitted:

The symbolic regression problem is one of finding a closed form …

The essence of the symbolic regression problem is finding a closed form …

The essence of symbolic regression is finding a closed form …

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