Author Topic: natural diversity VS simulated  (Read 3801 times)

Offline viplex

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natural diversity VS simulated
« on: March 08, 2007, 01:05:49 PM »
What is the trick of nature, that allows genomes (species) appear at such diverseity at the same enviroment? Why are simulations so dull?
« Last Edit: March 08, 2007, 01:10:02 PM by viplex »

Offline Jez

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natural diversity VS simulated
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2007, 02:14:13 PM »
My guess would be time.
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Offline viplex

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natural diversity VS simulated
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2007, 03:52:45 PM »
Quote from: Jez
My guess would be time.
But in the sim, why do all species but one extinct? Time doesnt help. On the contrary..

Offline EricL

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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2007, 12:39:10 AM »
Nature is many many many orders of magnitude more complex than DB w.r.t. environment, genetic degrees of freedom, physics, etc.  and yes, nature has more time, not just in terms of linear time but in term of interactions per unit time at everything from the molecular to the organism level.  Nature is parallel.  DB is not.  

The short answer is that DB is so amazingly simplistic in comparsiom that it would be incredible if anything evolves at all (IMHO, we have yet to really see anything actually evolve beyond the most basic seiving response to enviromental constraints).  I could make a strong case that DB has yet to evolve anything.
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Offline viplex

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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2007, 11:28:49 AM »
Quote from: EricL
Nature is many many many orders of magnitude more complex than DB w.r.t. environment, genetic degrees of freedom, physics, etc.  and yes, nature has more time, not just in terms of linear time but in term of interactions per unit time at everything from the molecular to the organism level.  Nature is parallel.  DB is not.  

The short answer is that DB is so amazingly simplistic in comparsiom that it would be incredible if anything evolves at all (IMHO, we have yet to really see anything actually evolve beyond the most basic seiving response to enviromental constraints).  I could make a strong case that DB has yet to evolve anything.

In that case, I suppose, processor speed is completely irrelevant regarding evolution efficiency. Yes, I have already observed something: if nothing interesting evolves in five minutes, you maight run it for five days with no interesting result at all.  
Maybe those quantum computers will help us.

Offline Numsgil

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natural diversity VS simulated
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2007, 03:46:59 PM »
An interesting idea I have been toying with in my mind is that life is like the travelling salesperson problem.  It's possible to have something alive in computers, in the same way that a depth first traversal can solve the TSP.  Just don't go looking for the answer before the universe dies and protons start decaying

Offline EricL

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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2007, 07:51:25 PM »
Quote from: viplex
In that case, I suppose, processor speed is completely irrelevant regarding evolution efficiency.
On the contrary, it's all about processor speed.  The more megaflops, the more physics that can be supportted, the more complex the interactions can be, the more bot-cycles per second per sim, etc.  I'm not saying DB will never evolve anything, only that with today's simplistic environment and cpu power, we have yet to see it.

Quote from: viplex
Yes, I have already observed something: if nothing interesting evolves in five minutes, you maight run it for five days with no interesting result at all.  
My zerbot sim is knocking on the door of 2000 hours of runtime with ~1500 bots and I've yet to see any conditional logic evolve even though I have tried to set up conditions to favor it.  I'll post it soon with some observations...
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Offline EricL

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natural diversity VS simulated
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2007, 08:05:20 PM »
Quote from: Numsgil
An interesting idea I have been toying with in my mind is that life is like the travelling salesperson problem.  It's possible to have something alive in computers, in the same way that a depth first traversal can solve the TSP.  Just don't go looking for the answer before the universe dies and protons start decaying

"Alife is but a heuristic search through real world NP-completeness."   whoa.  Got to get me some ganja to fully grock that implications there...

I agree with you in the sense that serial time slicing of organisms whose possible interactions are limited to only those coded apriori into the simulator will always be a shadowy approximation of the completely parallel and messy real world.  That said however, I continue to beleive that something we would all call life is still possible in a digital environment.  BTW, this ties us back to the thread a month or two ago on simulator-less bots released into the Internet...
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Offline Numsgil

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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2007, 11:14:23 PM »
If you look at it, most of the things that life takes for granted, such as protein folding, are not things that computers can do particularly well.  They can do them, but you'll always be pushing.  It won't come naturally.

One could argue that life can be abstracted away from the particulars of protein folding, but until it's demonstrated the possibility that life is protein folding, et al, can't be ignored.

Offline viplex

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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2007, 11:32:27 AM »
Quote from: Numsgil
If you look at it, most of the things that life takes for granted, such as protein folding, are not things that computers can do particularly well.  They can do them, but you'll always be pushing.  It won't come naturally.

One could argue that life can be abstracted away from the particulars of protein folding, but until it's demonstrated the possibility that life is protein folding, et al, can't be ignored.

Maybe its chemistry and all... and if we can make some abstraction and create some lifelike thing without chemistry, there is still a possibility that we will understand nothing of what is happening. If you know tierra or avida, with their "chemistry" being assembly, you can imagine what I'm speaking of: its hard to figure out how the simplest self-reproductor code works.
Though Darwinbots is very didactical, comprehensible to us, that exactly may be its weakness, since its language is too artificial (high level?)

Offline viplex

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natural diversity VS simulated
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2007, 11:52:58 AM »
Quote from: EricL
On the contrary, it's all about processor speed.  The more megaflops, the more physics that can be supportted, the more complex the interactions can be, the more bot-cycles per second per sim, etc.

you are right, but my point is...
if you have nothing interesting evolved in half an hour in your sim, processor time will not solve the problem, just like waiting for some hours more wont solve it. This late being an experience of mine.
So okay, this "completely irrelevant" is a bit exagerrated
« Last Edit: March 10, 2007, 12:09:04 PM by viplex »

Offline Endy

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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2007, 01:50:41 AM »
EricL, what kinds of settings are you using. I've found making the enviroment more complicated, yields substantial benefits in terms of more relativly complex life evolving. Oh yeah, what species is the zero bot? For plants they tend towards evolving pacifistic/defensive forms, rather than agressive ones.

I've found starting with a highly developed bot will work wonders. While evolution may take a long time to evolve things, it's easy for it to modify them to fit the enviroment.

Your choice of plants can also have a huge impact. An evolving continually reproducing plant, will adapt to your animals' feeding methods making them adapt in turn.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2007, 04:06:37 AM by Endy »

Offline Jez

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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2007, 12:05:32 PM »
I chose time originally over space because of the length of time that evolution has been around, the excessive time it took for life to mutate beyond a unicellular point and because there are small enclosed areas, such as caves, that do hold a variety of life, albeit a limited variety.

Watching a bit of 'State of the Planet - David Attenborough - UKTV History' today did make me reconsider this point though. He referred to an effect that mankind is having on biodiversity known as 'islandisation'.  Basically; the detrimental affect that something as simple as a road through a jungle can have by dividing the natural environment into smaller parcels.
For instance there is a little bird that steals insects from army ants, the army ants need a large amount of jungle to survive, when the army ants run out of insects in their bit of jungle they are quite happy to cross the road to find more insects but the bird, never having had a lesson on road safety, won't.
All along these man made boundaries both the plant and animal diversity is lessened.

Weigh this against an animal heavyweight such as the crocodile, a reptile that stopped evolving a long time ago because it had reached an apex for its environment.

If your bot has stopped evolving I would suggest a quick game of 'Darwin’s Finches'. Change the environment, if it has stopped mutating then it probably (having reached the ‘crocodile point’) doesn't need to any more.

I am changing my original answer from time, (although important in its own right) to space, environment and genetic pool.

PS
In Africa, many of the original game reserves are now considered too small, the solution they are now thinking about is joining many of these game reserves using ‘corridors’, much like the affect hedgerows used to have on biodiversity here in England and the reason that we now have laws about the removal of hedgerows.
This reminds me of the internet sharing idea that has never been fully implemented, diverse environments joined by an internet pipeline.
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Offline viplex

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natural diversity VS simulated
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2007, 04:21:38 PM »
Quote from: Jez
This reminds me of the internet sharing idea that has never been fully implemented, diverse environments joined by an internet pipeline.

That's an interesting idea, but
There is an evo software the name of which I dont remember, with rotating, stiff-body bots called "biots". Internet sharing works fot it. I evolved some cool biots and connected to other enviroments (to 4 directions, via borders of the screen). What do you think happened? There came some tens of thousands generations old terminators and quickly eliminated my whole population.
But if there was some way to standardize enviromental parameters, and then defining some kind of fitness for the creatures involved in the multiPC sim, then screens with close average fitness could be put next to each other, thus creating a great world of adjoining screens. That should elongate stability.

Offline viplex

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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2007, 04:29:42 PM »
Quote from: Endy
Your choice of plants can also have a huge impact. An evolving continually reproducing plant, will adapt to your animals' feeding methods making them adapt in turn.

I always use auto-repopulation for plants because genetic reproduction never works for me somehow: the population is wildly oscillating (when reaches max pop treshold, too many vegs reproduce at the same time) and many other issues I can't recall now. How do you set up a stabile veggy pop? Do the plants learn to move and shoot and things?