Caring versus sharing: how to maintain engagement and diversity in coevolving populations

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Coevolutionary optimisation suffers from a series of problems that interfere with the progressive escalating arms races that are hoped might solve difficult classes of optimisation problem. Here we explore the extent to which encouraging moderation in one coevolving population (termed parasites) can alleviate the problem of coevolutionary disengagement. Results suggest that, under these conditions, disengagement is avoided through maintaining variation in relative fitness scores. In order to explore whether standard diversity maintenance techniques such as resource sharing could achieve the same effects, we compare moderating virulence with resource sharing in a simple matching game. We demonstrate that moderating parasite virulence differs significantly from resource sharing, and that its tendency to prevent disengagement can also reduce the likelihood of coevolutionary optimisation halting at mediocre stable states.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECAL 2003: Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on Artificial Life
EditorsW Banzhaf, T Christaller, P Dittrich, JT Kim, J Ziegler
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Berlin
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)3-540-39432-7, 978-3-540-39432-7
ISBN (Print)3-540-20057-6, 978-3-540-20057-4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003
Event7th European Conference on Artifical Life - Dortmund, Germany
Duration: 14 Sep 200317 Sep 2003

Publication series

NameAdvances in Artificial Life: Lecture Notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)0302-9743


Conference7th European Conference on Artifical Life


  • evolutionary computation
  • coevolution
  • optimisation
  • virulence
  • fitness sharing
  • reduced virulence
  • coevolutionary disengagement
  • coevolutionary dynamics


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