Case Study of Novelty, Complexity, and Adaptation in a Multicellular System
Matthew Andres Moreno
, Santiago Rodriguez Papa
and Charles Ofria
1Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48103
Continuing generation of novelty, complexity, and adaptation are well-established as core aspects of open-ended evolution. However, the manner in which these phenomena relate remains an area of great theoretical interest. It is yet to be firmly established to what extent these phenomena are coupled and by what means they interact. In this work, we track the co-evolution of novelty, complexity, and adaptation in a case study from a simulation system designed to study the evolution of digital multicellularity. In this case study, we describe ten qualitatively distinct multicellular morphologies, several of which exhibit asymmetrical growth and distinct life stages. We contextualize the evolutionary history of these morphologies with measurements of complexity and adaptation. Our case study suggests a loose, sometimes divergent, relationship can exist among novelty, complexity, and adaptation.