Skip Nav Destination
1-3 of 3
Follow your search
Access your saved searches in your account
Would you like to receive an alert when new items match your search?
Artificial Life (2022) 28 (1): 134–153.
Published: 09 June 2022
FIGURES | View All (8)
AbstractView article PDF
It is already well known that environmental variation has a big effect on real evolution, and similar effects have been found in evolutionary artificial life simulations. In particular, a lot of research has been carried out on how the various evolutionary outcomes depend on the noise distributions representing the environmental changes, and how important it is for models to use inverse power-law distributions with the right noise colour. However, there are two distinct factors of relevance—the average total magnitude of change per unit time and the distribution of individual change magnitudes—and misleading results may emerge if those factors are not properly separated. This article makes use of an existing agent-based artificial life modeling framework to explore this issue using models previously tried and tested for other purposes. It begins by demonstrating how the total magnitude and distribution effects can easily be confused, and goes on to show how it is possible to untangle the influence of these interacting factors by using correlation-based normalization. It then presents a series of simulation results demonstrating that interesting dependencies on the noise distribution remain after separating those factors, but many effects involving the noise colour of inverse power-law distributions disappear, and very similar results arise across restricted-range white-noise distributions. The average total magnitude of change per unit time is found to have a substantial effect on the simulation outcomes, but the distribution of individual changes has very little effect. A robust counterexample is thereby provided to the idea that it is always important to use accurate environmental change distributions in artificial life models.
Artificial Life (2017) 23 (3): 374–405.
Published: 01 August 2017
FIGURES | View All (15)
AbstractView article PDF
The idea that lifetime learning can have a significant effect on life history evolution has recently been explored using a series of artificial life simulations. These involved populations of competing individuals evolving by natural selection to learn to perform well on simplified abstract tasks, with the learning consisting of identifying regularities in their environment. In reality, there is more to learning than that type of direct individual experience, because it often includes a substantial degree of social learning that involves various forms of imitation of what other individuals have learned before them. This article rectifies that omission by incorporating memes and imitative learning into revised versions of the previous approach. To do this reliably requires formulating and testing a general framework for meme-based simulations that will enable more complete investigations of learning as a factor in any life history evolution scenarios. It does that by simulating imitative information transfer in terms of memes being passed between individuals, and developing a process for merging that information with the (possibly inconsistent) information acquired by direct experience, leading to a consistent overall body of learning. The proposed framework is tested on a range of learning variations and a representative set of life history factors to confirm the robustness of the approach. The simulations presented illustrate the types of interactions and tradeoffs that can emerge, and indicate the kinds of species-specific models that could be developed with this approach in the future.
Artificial Life (2009) 15 (4): 389–409.
Published: 01 October 2009
AbstractView article PDF
An artificial life approach is taken to explore the effect that lifetime learning can have on the evolution of certain life history traits, in particular the periods of protection that parents offer their young, and the age at first reproduction of those young. The study begins by simulating the evolution of simple artificial neural network systems that must learn quickly to perform well on simple classification tasks, and determining if and when extended periods of parental protection emerge. It is concluded that longer periods of parental protection of children do offer clear learning advantages and better adult performance, but only if procreation is not allowed during the protection period. In this case, a compromise protection period evolves that balances the improved learning performance against reduced procreation period. The crucial properties of the neural learning processes are then abstracted out to explore the possibility of studying the effect of learning more generally and with better computational efficiency. Throughout, the implications of these simulations for more realistic scenarios are discussed.