[Tim Taylor's home page] [Tim Taylor's research page]
[Niche Construction] [EvoCA] [NKPM Model] [Other Work]
I am also interested in theoretical questions of evolvability, and, in particular, of how to increase the evolutionary potential of artificial evolution systems. My doctoral research was an investigation of the evolutionary properties of a system of self-replicating software agents, and an analysis of how the evolutionary potential of such systems might be improved.
My PhD thesis, "From Artificial Evolution to Artificial Life", can be viewed in HTML or downloaded in a variety of formats.
I am currently working on a number of other
projects by myself (when I can find the time to fit them in). These include:
A model of evolution in cellular automata
(CA), based upon Howard Pattee's ideas on the emergence and role of
symbol systems (e.g. genetic representations) in dynamical systems (e.g. the physical
world). The idea is that the symbolic representations affect the dynamics of the system by
generating boundary conditions for that system. Stated in this way, this may not sound like
such a big idea, but looking at genomes in the context of dynamical systems actually
admits a somewhat more active role for the genome than it is often granted in artificial
evolutionary systems. My CA model (called EvoCA) evolves genomes
which set the state of specific
cells as the CA update rules are applied, and is therefore a tool for
investigating the extent to which the evolution of boundary conditions can effectively
control a dynamical system.
An extension of Kauffman's NK model of
fitness landscapes, which I am tenatively calling the NKPM
model, to look
at the evolution of structures which possess multiple selectively
The parameter P represents the number of properties, and M represents
the degree of "overlap" (or "multimodality") in the genetic representations of these
properties. The idea behind the model is that evolving organismic
structures in the real world possess a variety of properties in various modalities (e.g.
structural, electrical, chemical, mechanical, etc.), and that it might actually be easier to
evolve such structures than uni-functional ones. The model is a tool to
systematically explore this
idea. Work on this model has (temporarily?) stalled, but if anyone is
interested in it, I would be happy to discuss developing it further.
Recent collaborations include:
See my publications page for more details about these projects.
Document last updated: Tim Taylor, Monday, 15 January 2007