The Emergence of a Circadian Rhythm in a Multi-Agent Simulation



The synchronisation phenomena in biological systems is a current and recurring subject of scientific study. This topic, namely that of circadian clocks, served as inspiration to develop an agent-based simulation that serves the main purpose of being a proof-of-concept of the model used in the BitBang framework, that implements a modern autonomous agent model. The experiment described in this paper gets inspiration from a current subject in biology research. Despite having been extensively studied, circadian clocks still have much to be investigated. Rather than wanting to learn more about the internals of this biological process, we look to study the emergence of this kind of adaptation to a daily cycle. To that end we implemented a world with a day / night cycle, and analyse the ways the agents adapt to that cycle. The results show the evolution of the agents' ability to gather food. If we look at the total number of agents over the course of an experiment, we can pinpoint the time when reproductive technology emerges. We also show that the agents adapt to the daily cycle. This circadian rhythm is best observed in a real-time 3D visualisation of the experiments, but can also be shown by analysing the variation on the agents metabolic rate, which is affected by the variation of their movement patterns. In the experiments conducted we can observe that the metabolic rate of the agents varies according to the daily cycle.


complex systems, multi-agent systems, open-ended evolution, circadian rhythm


Artificial Life


European Conference on Complex Systems 2007, October 2007

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