Clark, Edward, Adam Nellis, Simon J. Hickinbotham, Susan Stepney, Tim Clarke, Mungo Pay, and Peter Young. “Degeneracy enriches artificial chemistry binding systems.” In ECAL , pp. 133-140. 2011.
We hypothesise that degeneracy in the components of an artificial chemistry (AChem) facilitates the complexity of the system as a whole. We introduce definitions of degeneracy
and redundancy, and show how these quantities can be calculated for the binding system of an AChem. We present a case study using the AChem Stringmol, in order to support our hypothesis. We demonstrate that the binding system in Stringmol has degeneracy and we create a deliberately poor variant: ‘sticky-Stringmol’, that has a binding system with no degeneracy. Comparing sticky-Stringmol to Stringmol, we note the loss of many simulation artifacts that have been used as evidence of the complexity of Stringmol, including: emergent macro-mutations, hypercycles, sweeps and parasite evasion. These results are evidence that degeneracy in the components of an AChem facilitates the complexity of the system as a whole.