The formation of hierarchical structures in a pseudo-spatial co-evolutionary artificial life environment

D. Cornforth, D. G. Green, J. Awburn

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Enumeration of the factors underlying the formation of modules and hierarchical structures in evolution is a major current goal of artificial life research. Evolutionary algorithms are often pressed into service, but it is not clear how the various possible features of such models facilitate this goal. We address this question by using a model that allows experimentation with several candidate model features. We show how the notions of variable length genotype, variable genotype to phenotype mapping, pseudo-spatial environment, and memetic evolution can be combined. We quantify the effects of these features using measures of module size, and show that information shared between individuals allows them to build modules and combine them to form hierarchical structures. These results suggest an important role for phase changes in this process, and should inform current artificial life research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Australian Conference on Artificial Life: Recent Advances in Artificial Life
EditorsH A Abbass, T Bossomaier, J Wiles
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789812701497
ISBN (Print)9812566155
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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