Special Forms of Evolution

Tarundeep Singh Dhot Dept of ECE Concordia University Montreal, QC H3G 1M8

Coevolution and Interactive evolution are special forms of evolution as they both work under external influence. In coevolution, this influence comes from another population while in interactive evolution; it comes from a user (human) defining the fitness values. Coevolution is divided into cooperative and competitive coevolution. In cooperative coevolution, increase in fitness of one individual increases the overall fitness of the model (cooperation among individuals) while in competitive coevolution, individuals compete against each other to gain fitness (fitness of one negatively affects the others). Thus, cooperative coevolution can be seen as a mutual beneficial relation (mutualism and symbiosis) while competitive coevolution is more of a non beneficial, predatory or parasitic relation. Even though cooperative coevolution is dependent on the user to provide a suitable partition to the problem, it permits effective function decomposition as essentially each subpopulation solves a much smaller and amenable problem. But the main issue here is deciding how to mutually pair solutions from the subpopulations in order to improve overall fitness. Thus, the fitness landscape keeps changing as different populations evolve according to the choice of pairing strategies. On the other hand, in competitive coevolution, individuals compete against each other to gain fitness at each other’s expense and are thus ranked according to the number of wins they achieve (rank based selection). Eg: Iterative Prisoner’s Dilemma. In comparison to coevolution, interactive evolution has a human as a part of the system and evolutionary process. The influence of the human or user in the selection is known as subjective or aesthetic selection. Thus, it suits situations having no clear fitness function improving the search ability, exploration and diversity of evolution. But at the same time it is slow, inconsistent having limited coverage. Interactive evolution can be applied as an optimisation tool for problems having parameter based representations and as a discovery engine identifying new designs as well as design principles analyzing evolved designs for component based representations. A common example for Interactive Evolution is the Mondriaan Evolver where a human is allowed to grade each image, thus, being a part of the evolutionary design of the system. Finally, we can see that in both Coevolution and Interactive Evolution, the fitness that is awarded to a solution may vary as in Coevolution, the fitness is dependent on the evolutionary state of the second population while in Interactive Evolution it is because of user inconsistencies.

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