Abstract

The Cichlid Speciation Project (CSP) is an ALife simulation system for investigating open problems in the speciation of African cichlid fish. The CSP can be used to perform a wide range of experiments that show that speciation is a natural consequence of certain biological systems. A visualization system capable of extracting the history of speciation from low-level trace data and creating a phylogenetic tree has been implemented. Unlike previous approaches, this visualization system presents a concrete trace of speciation, rather than a summary of low-level information from which the viewer can make subjective decisions on how speciation progressed. The phylogenetic trees are a more objective visualization of speciation, and enable automated collection and summarization of the results of experiments. The visualization system is used to create a phylogenetic tree from an experiment that models sympatric speciation.

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