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Evolution programs (was: Reevolving bones)
Jonathan R. Wagner wrote:
[big snip related to the never-ending cladistic wars]
> Dinogeorge wrote:
> >Mickey Rowe, and I suggested the following experiment:
> >Using a computer program that simulates evolution
> Can we really do this? Forgive, but I rather
> thought that if we could do this, I wouldn't have to
> go to grad school.
Good news, you can leave grad school!
Evolution Programs (EPs) are widely used (I can give you
hundreds of references). They consist on what is called a
Genetic Algorithm (GA) that acts on a particular Data
Structure. GAs in their simplest form act on binary digit
"cells" through genetic operators like mutation and
cross-over. The binary representation is not efficient to
solve most problems and other forms to represent the data
and special kinds of crossing-over and mutation operators
have been developed. It's nice to see that evolution based
on selection and random mutation really works (I've used EPs
to solve equations).
A thing like Dinogeorge suggests is feasible, the big problem
is probably the CPU time. Of course you would try something
which is not a dinosaur but just a set of characters that could
be used in a cladogram... Given my background in Physics I would
have no problem in calling that set of characters a "dinosaur
model" just to stay on topic in this list.
Dalmiro Maia firstname.lastname@example.org