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Artificial Life

Tim Taylor, Mark Bedau, Alastair Channon, David Ackley, Wolfgang Banzhaf, Guillaume Beslon, Emily Dolson, Tom Froese, Simon Hickinbotham, Takashi Ikegami, Barry McMullin, Norman Packard, Steen Rasmussen, Nathaniel Virgo, Eran Agmon, Edward Clark, Simon McGregor, Charles Ofria, Glen Ropella, Lee Spector, Kenneth O Stanley, Adam Stanton, Christopher Timperley, Anya Vostinar, Michael Wiser
We describe the content and outcomes of the First Workshop on Open-Ended Evolution: Recent Progress and Future Milestones (OEE1), held during the ECAL 2015 conference at the University of York, UK, in July 2015. We briefly summarize the content of the workshop's talks, and identify the main themes that emerged from the open discussions. Two important conclusions from the discussions are: (1) the idea of pluralism about OEE-it seems clear that there is more than one interesting and important kind of OEE; and (2) the importance of distinguishing observable behavioral hallmarks of systems undergoing OEE from hypothesized underlying mechanisms that explain why a system exhibits those hallmarks...
2016: Artificial Life
Tim Taylor, Joshua E Auerbach, Josh Bongard, Jeff Clune, Simon Hickinbotham, Charles Ofria, Mizuki Oka, Sebastian Risi, Kenneth O Stanley, Jason Yosinski
We present a survey of the first 21 years of web-based artificial life (WebAL) research and applications, broadly construed to include the many different ways in which artificial life and web technologies might intersect. Our survey covers the period from 1994-when the first WebAL work appeared-up to the present day, together with a brief discussion of relevant precursors. We examine recent projects, from 2010-2015, in greater detail in order to highlight the current state of the art. We follow the survey with a discussion of common themes and methodologies that can be observed in recent work and identify a number of likely directions for future work in this exciting area...
2016: Artificial Life
Rick Janssen, Stefano Nolfi, Pim Haselager, Ida Sprinkhuizen-Kuyper
Coevolving systems are notoriously difficult to understand. This is largely due to the Red Queen effect that dictates heterospecific fitness interdependence. In simulation studies of coevolving systems, master tournaments are often used to obtain more informed fitness measures by testing evolved individuals against past and future opponents. However, such tournaments still contain certain ambiguities. We introduce the use of a phenotypic cluster analysis to examine the distribution of opponent categories throughout an evolutionary sequence...
2016: Artificial Life
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No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2016: Artificial Life
Hiroki Sayama, John Rieffel, Sebastian Risi, René Doursat, Hod Lipson
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2016: Artificial Life
Randal S Olson, David B Knoester, Christoph Adami
Animal grouping behaviors have been widely studied due to their implications for understanding social intelligence, collective cognition, and potential applications in engineering, artificial intelligence, and robotics. An important biological aspect of these studies is discerning which selection pressures favor the evolution of grouping behavior. In the past decade, researchers have begun using evolutionary computation to study the evolutionary effects of these selection pressures in predator-prey models. The selfish herd hypothesis states that concentrated groups arise because prey selfishly attempt to place their conspecifics between themselves and the predator, thus causing an endless cycle of movement toward the center of the group...
2016: Artificial Life
Michał Joachimczak, Reiji Suzuki, Takaya Arita
We show how the concept of metamorphosis, together with a biologically inspired model of multicellular development, can be used to evolve soft-bodied robots that are adapted to two very different tasks, such as being able to move in an aquatic and in a terrestrial environment. Each evolved solution defines two pairs of morphologies and controllers, together with a process of transforming one pair into the other. Animats develop from a single cell and grow through cellular divisions and deaths until they reach an initial larval form adapted to a first environment...
2016: Artificial Life
David Ripps
In the realm of cellular-automata-based artificial life, configurations that self-reproduce employing signals are a more advanced form than those that reproduce holistically by simple fission. One might view those signals as a very rudimentary genetic code, since they guide the formation of the "child" from its "parent." In principle, the signals could mutate to deliver a child better suited to reproduction in this artificial world. But even the simplest signal-based replicator discovered so far requires 58 specific CA transition rules that have been carefully hand-crafted to exactly meet the requirement of self-replication...
2016: Artificial Life
Andrés C Burgos, Daniel Polani
We consider the problem of the evolution of a code within a structured population of agents. The agents try to maximize their information about their environment by acquiring information from the outputs of other agents in the population. A naive use of information-theoretic methods would assume that every agent knows how to interpret the information offered by other agents. However, this assumes that it knows which other agents it observes, and thus which code they use. In our model, however, we wish to preclude that: It is not clear which other agents an agent is observing, and the resulting usable information is therefore influenced by the universality of the code used and by which agents an agent is listening to...
2016: Artificial Life
Filippo Caschera, Vincent Noireaux
Cell-free expression is a technology used to synthesize minimal biological cells from natural molecular components. We have developed a versatile and powerful all-E. coli cell-free transcription-translation system energized by a robust metabolism, with the far objective of constructing a synthetic cell capable of self-reproduction. Inorganic phosphate (iP), a byproduct of protein synthesis, is recycled through polysugar catabolism to regenerate ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and thus supports long-lived and highly efficient protein synthesis in vitro...
2016: Artificial Life
Drew Blount
It is obviously useful to think of evolved individuals in terms of their adaptations, yet the task of empirically classifying traits as adaptations has been claimed by some to be impossible in principle. I reject that claim by construction, introducing a formal method to empirically test whether a trait is an adaptation. The method presented is general, intuitive, and effective at identifying adaptations while remaining agnostic about their adaptive function. The test follows directly from the notion that adaptations arise from variation, heritability, and differential fitness in an evolving population: I operationalize these three concepts at the trait level, formally defining measures of individual traits...
2016: Artificial Life
Takashi Ito, Marcin L Pilat, Reiji Suzuki, Takaya Arita
Recent studies have reported that population dynamics and evolutionary dynamics, occurring at different time scales, can be affected by each other. Our purpose is to explore the interaction between population and evolutionary dynamics using an artificial life approach based on a 3D physically simulated environment in the context of predator-prey and morphology-behavior coevolution. The morphologies and behaviors of virtual prey creatures are evolved using a genetic algorithm based on the predation interactions between predators and prey...
2016: Artificial Life
Chris Johnson, Andrew Philippides, Philip Husbands
Compliant bodies with complex dynamics can be used both to simplify control problems and to lead to adaptive reflexive behavior when engaged with the environment in the sensorimotor loop. By revisiting an experiment introduced by Beer and replacing the continuous-time recurrent neural network therein with reservoir computing networks abstracted from compliant bodies, we demonstrate that adaptive behavior can be produced by an agent in which the body is the main computational locus. We show that bodies with complex dynamics are capable of integrating, storing, and processing information in meaningful and useful ways, and furthermore that with the addition of the simplest of nervous systems such bodies can generate behavior that could equally be described as reflexive or minimally cognitive...
2016: Artificial Life
Nathaniel Virgo, Takashi Ikegami, Simon McGregor
Life on Earth must originally have arisen from abiotic chemistry. Since the details of this chemistry are unknown, we wish to understand, in general, which types of chemistry can lead to complex, lifelike behavior. Here we show that even very simple chemistries in the thermodynamically reversible regime can self-organize to form complex autocatalytic cycles, with the catalytic effects emerging from the network structure. We demonstrate this with a very simple but thermodynamically reasonable artificial chemistry model...
2016: Artificial Life
Eran Agmon, Alexander J Gates, Valentin Churavy, Randall D Beer
We introduce a spatial model of concentration dynamics that supports the emergence of spatiotemporal inhomogeneities that engage in metabolism-boundary co-construction. These configurations exhibit disintegration following some perturbations, and self-repair in response to others. We define robustness as a viable configuration's tendency to return to its prior configuration in response to perturbations, and plasticity as a viable configuration's tendency to change to other viable configurations. These properties are demonstrated and quantified in the model, allowing us to map a space of viable configurations and their possible transitions...
2016: Artificial Life
Stefan Badelt, Christoph Flamm, Ivo L Hofacker
RNA molecules engineered to fold into predefined conformations have enabled the design of a multitude of functional RNA devices in the field of synthetic biology and nanotechnology. More complex designs require efficient computational methods, which need to consider not only equilibrium thermodynamics but also the kinetics of structure formation. Here we present a novel type of RNA design that mimics the behavior of prions, that is, sequences capable of interaction-triggered autocatalytic replication of conformations...
2016: Artificial Life
Guy Hachmon, Noam Mamet, Sapir Sasson, Tal Barkai, Nomi Hadar, Almogit Abu-Horowitz, Ido Bachelet
New types of robots inspired by biological principles of assembly, locomotion, and behavior have been recently described. In this work we explored the concept of robots that are based on more fundamental physical phenomena, such as fluid dynamics, and their potential capabilities. We report a robot made entirely of non-Newtonian fluid, driven by shear strains created by spatial patterns of audio waves. We demonstrate various robotic primitives such as locomotion and transport of metallic loads-up to 6-fold heavier than the robot itself-between points on a surface, splitting and merging, shapeshifting, percolation through gratings, and counting to 3...
2016: Artificial Life
Simon Hickinbotham, Edward Clark, Adam Nellis, Susan Stepney, Tim Clarke, Peter Young
Automata chemistries are good vehicles for experimentation in open-ended evolution, but they are by necessity complex systems whose low-level properties require careful design. To aid the process of designing automata chemistries, we develop an abstract model that classifies the features of a chemistry from a physical (bottom up) perspective and from a biological (top down) perspective. There are two levels: things that can evolve, and things that cannot. We equate the evolving level with biology and the non-evolving level with physics...
2016: Artificial Life
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