Evolutionary Dynamics Discovered via Visualization in the BREVE Simulation Environment

Lee Spector
Cognitive Science
Hampshire College
Amherst, MA 01002, USA
lspector@hampshire.edu
http://hampshire.edu/lspector

Jon Klein
Physical Resource Theory
Chalmers University of Technology and Goteborg University
SE-412 96 Goteborg, Sweden
also: Cognitive Science, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 01002, USA
jklein@hampshire.edu



This page contains information related to "Evolutionary Dynamics Discovered via Visualization in the BREVE Simulation Environment," a paper for the workshop "Beyond Fitness: Visualising Evolution" at The 8th International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems, Artificial Life VIII, December, 2002.


Abstract

We report how BREVE, a simulation environment with rich 3D graphics, was used to discover significant patterns in the dynamics of a system that evolves controllers for swarms of goal-directed agents. These patterns were discovered via visualization in the sense that we had not considered their relevance or thought to look for them initially, but they became obvious upon visually observing the behavior of the system. In this paper we briefly describe BREVE and the system of evolving swarms that we implemented within it. We then describe two discovered properties of the evolutionary dynamics of the system: transitions to/from genetic drift regimes and the emergence of collective or multicellular organization. We comment more generally on the utility of 3D visualization for the discovery of biologically significant phenomena and briefly describe our ongoing work in this area. Pointers are provided to on-line resources including source code and animations that demonstrate several of the described effects. Associated links
are available on-line at http://hampshire.edu/lspector/alife8-visualization.html.

Citation

Spector, L., and J. Klein. 2002. Evolutionary Dynamics Discovered via Visualization in the BREVE Simulation Environment. In Bilotta et al. (eds), Workshop Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems, pp. 163-170. Sydney, Australia: University of New South Wales.

Full paper

Available in PDF format: http://hampshire.edu/lspector/pubs/alife8-visualization.pdf

Associated links