The Squares Problem and a Neutrality Analysis with ReNCoDe



Evolutionary Algorithms (EA) are stochastic search algorithms inspired by the principles of selection and variation posited by the theory of evolution, mimicking in a simple way those mechanisms. In particular, EAs approach differently from nature the genotype - phenotype relationship, and this view is a recurrent issue among researchers. Moreover, in spite of some performance improvements, it is a true fact that biology knowledge has advanced faster than our ability to incorporate novel biological ideas into EAs. Recently, some researchers start exploring computationally our new comprehension about the multitude of the regulatory mechanisms that are fundamental in both processes of inheritance and of development in natural systems, trying to include those mechanism in the EA. One of the first successful proposals is the Artificial Gene Regulatory (ARN) model, by Wolfgang Banzhaf. Soon after some variants of the ARN with increased capabilities were tested. In this paper, we further explore the capabilities of one of those, the Regulatory Network Computational Device, empowering it with feedback connections. The efficacy and efficiency of this alternative is tested experimentally using a typical benchmark problem for recurrent and developmental systems. In order to gain a better understanding about the reasons for the improved quality of the results, we undertake a preliminary study about the role of neutral mutations during the evolutionary process.


regulation, network, evolution, development, neutrality


Evolutionary Computation Representations


15th Portuguese Conference on Artificial Intelligence, July 2011

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