Evolving Morphological and Behavioral Diversity Without Predefined Behavior Primitives

TitleEvolving Morphological and Behavioral Diversity Without Predefined Behavior Primitives
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsPichler, P-P, Cañamero, L
EditorBullock, S, Noble, J, Watson, RA, Bedau, MA
Name of ProceedingsArtificial Life XI: Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems
Date Published08/2008
PublisherMIT Press
Conference LocationWinchester, UK
ISBN Number978-0-262-75017-2

Virtual ecosystems, where natural selection is used to evolve complex agent behavior, are often preferred to traditional genetic algorithms because the absence of an explicitly defined fitness allows for a less constrained evolutionary process. However, these model ecosystems typically pre-specify a discrete set of possible action primitives the agents can perform. We think that this also constrains the evolutionary process with the modellers preconceptions of what possible solutions could be. Therefore, we propose an ecosystem model to evolve complete agents where all higher-level behavior results strictly from the interplay between extremely simple components and where no ‘behavior primitives’ are defined. On the basis of four distinct survival strategies we show that such primitives are not necessary to evolve behavioral diversity even in a simple and homogeneous environment.