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Publisher: Journals Gateway
Artificial Life (2018) 24 (4): 277–295.
Published: 01 March 2019
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AbstractView article PDF
Previous evolutionary studies demonstrated how robust solutions can be obtained by evaluating agents multiple times in variable environmental conditions. Here we demonstrate how agents evolved in environments that vary across generations outperform agents evolved in environments that remain fixed. Moreover, we demonstrate that best performance is obtained when the environment varies at a moderate rate across generations, that is, when the environment does not vary every generation but every N generations. The advantage of exposing evolving agents to environments that vary across generations at a moderate rate is due, at least in part, to the fact that this condition maximizes the retention of changes that alter the behavior of the agents, which in turn facilitates the discovery of better solutions. Finally, we demonstrate that moderate environmental variations are advantageous also from an evolutionary computation perspective, that is, from the perspective of maximizing the performance that can be achieved within a limited computational budget.