Several new Devolab publications have been accepted to appear at Artificial Life 13. “Digital Evolution Exhibits Surprising Robustness to Poor Design Decisions” by David M. Bryson and Charles Ofria Abstract When designing an evolving software system, a researcher must set many aspects of the representation and inevitably make arbitrary decisions. Here we explore the consequences of poor design decisions in the development of a virtual instruction set in digital evolution systems. We evaluate the introduction of three different severities of poor choices. (1) functionally neutral instructions that water down mutational options, (2) actively deleterious instructions, and (3) a lethal die instruction. We further examine the impact of a high level of neutral bloat on the short term evolutionary potential of genotypes experiencing environmental change. We observed surprising robustness to these poor design decisions across all seven […]
Our work was the cover story of the Feb. 2005 issue of Discover magazine. [text]
At the MSU Digital Evolution Laboratory (Devolab), we perform experimental studies on digital organisms with the twin goals of improving our understanding of how natural evolution works, and applying this knowledge to solving computational, engineering, and biological problems.