Abstract

Fine-scale evolutionary dynamics can be challenging to tease out when focused on broad brush strokes of whole populations over long time spans. We propose a suite of diagnostic metrics that operate on lineages and phylogenies in digital evolution experiments with the aim of improving our capacity to quantitatively explore the nuances of evolutionary histories in digital evolution experiments. We present three types of lineage measurements: lineage length, mutation accumulation, and phenotypic volatility. Additionally, we suggest the adoption of four phylogeny measurements from biology: depth of the most-recent common ancestor, phylogenetic richness, phylogenetic divergence, and phylogenetic regularity. We demonstrate the use of each metric on a set of two-dimensional, real-valued optimization problems under a range of mutation rates and selection strengths, confirming our intuitions about what they can tell us about evolutionary dynamics.

This content is only available as a PDF.