Generation of Diversity in a Reaction-Diffusion Based Controller

Payam Zahadat, Thomas Schmickl
Artificial Life 20:3 (2014), 319–342


A controller of biological or artificial organism (e.g. in bio-inspired cel-
lular robots) consists of a number of processes that drive its dynamics. For
a system of processes to perform as a successful controller, different prop-
erties can be mentioned. One of the desirable properties of such a system
is the capability of generating sufficiently diverse patterns of outputs and
behaviors. A system with such a capability is potentially adaptable to per-
form complicated tasks with proper parameterizations and may success-
fully reach solution space of behaviors from the point of view of search and
evolutionary algorithms. This paper aims to have an early step towards
exploring this capability at the levels of individuals and populations by in-
troducing measures of diversity generation and by evaluating the influence
of different types of processes on diversity generation. A reaction-diffusion
based controller called AHHS (Artificial Homeostatic Hormone System) is
studied as a system consisting of different processes with various domains
of functioning, e.g. internal/external to the control unit. Various combina-
tions of these processes are investigated in terms of diversity generation at
both levels of individuals and populations and the effects of the processes
are discussed representing different influences for the processes. A case
study of evolving a multi-modular AHHS controller with all the various
process combinations is also investigated representing the relevance of the
diversity generation measures and practical scenarios.


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