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    UNSW, Maths and Stats, Sydney, Australia

    Some Techniques for the Measurement of Complexity in Tierra

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    Recently, Adami and coworkers have been able to measure the information content of digital organisms living in their em Avida artificial life system. They show that over time, the organisms behave like Maxwell's demon, accreting information (or complexity) as they evolve. In em Avida the organisms don't interact with each other, merely reproduce at a particular rate (their fitness), and attempt to evaluate an externally given arithmetic function in order win bonus fitness points. Measuring the information content of a digital organism is essentially a process of counting the number of genotypes that give rise to the same phenotype. Whilst Avidan organisms have a particularly simple phenotype, Tierran organisms interact with each other, giving rise to an ecology of phenotypes. In this paper, I discuss techniques for comparing pairs of Tierran organisms to determine if they are phenotypically equivalent. I then discuss a method for computing an estimate of the number of phenotypically equivalent genotypes that is more accurate than the ``hot site'' estimate used by Adami's group. Finally, I report on an experimental analysis of a Tierra run.

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    Description

    Title : Some Techniques for the Measurement of Complexity in Tierra
    Author(s) : Russell K Standish
    Abstract : Recently, Adami and coworkers have been able to measure the information content of digital organisms living in their em Avida artificial life system. They show that over time, the organisms behave like Maxwell's demon, accreting information (or complexity) as they evolve. In em Avida the organisms don't interact with each other, merely reproduce at a particular rate (their fitness), and attempt to evaluate an externally given arithmetic function in order win bonus fitness points. Measuring the information content of a digital organism is essentially a process of counting the number of genotypes that give rise to the same phenotype. Whilst Avidan organisms have a particularly simple phenotype, Tierran organisms interact with each other, giving rise to an ecology of phenotypes. In this paper, I discuss techniques for comparing pairs of Tierran organisms to determine if they are phenotypically equivalent. I then discuss a method for computing an estimate of the number of phenotypically equivalent genotypes that is more accurate than the ``hot site'' estimate used by Adami's group. Finally, I report on an experimental analysis of a Tierra run.
    Keywords : genetic programming, genetic algorithms

    Subject : unspecified
    Area : Other
    Language : English
    Year : 2000

    Affiliations UNSW, Maths and Stats, Sydney, Australia
    Editors : Dario Floreano, Jean-Daniel Nicoud, Francesco Mondada
    Journal : Advances in Artificial Life 5th European Conference ECAL 99
    Volume : 1674
    Publisher : Springer
    Pages : 5
    Url : http://arxiv.org/abs/nlin/0001009

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