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On Crossing Fitness Valleys with the Baldwin Effect

Mills, Rob and Watson, R. A., Rocha, Luis M., Bedau, Mark, Floreano, Dario, Goldstone, Robert, Vespignani, Alessandro and Yaeger, Larry(eds.) (2006) On Crossing Fitness Valleys with the Baldwin Effect Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems, pp. 493-499.

Record type: Article


Escaping local optima and crossing fitness valleys to reach higher-fitness regions of a fitness landscape is a ubiquitous concept in much writing on evolutionary difficulty. The Baldwin effect, an interaction between non-heritable lifetime plasticity (e.g. learning) and evolution, has been shown to be able to guide evolutionary change and ‘smooth out’ abrupt fitness changes in fitness landscapes –thus enabling genetic evolution that would otherwise not occur. However, prior work has not provided a detailed study or analysis on the saddle-crossing ability of the Baldwin effect in a simple multi-peaked landscape. Here we provide analytic and simulation studies to investigate the effectiveness and limitations of the Baldwin effect in enabling genotypic evolution to cross fitness valleys. We also discuss how canalisation, an aspect of many prior models of the Baldwin effect, is unnecessary for the Baldwin effect and a hindrance to its valley-crossing ability.

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Published date: 2006
Additional Information: Event Dates: 2006-06
Venue - Dates: Tenth International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems (ALifeX), United States, 2006-06-01
Keywords: Baldwin Effect, genetic assimilation, canalisation
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity, EEE


Local EPrints ID: 261751
PURE UUID: f743faf7-c77d-42d0-ad43-2889ca3aae02

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Date deposited: 18 Jan 2006
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 08:59

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Author: Rob Mills
Author: R. A. Watson
Editor: Luis M. Rocha
Editor: Mark Bedau
Editor: Dario Floreano
Editor: Robert Goldstone
Editor: Alessandro Vespignani
Editor: Larry Yaeger

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