Fitness Transmission: A Genealogic Signature of Adaptive Evolution

Miconi, Thomas. “Fitness Transmission-A Genealogic Signature of Adaptive Evolution.” In ALIFE , pp. 404-411. 2008.

We introduce fitness transmission as a simple statistical signature of adaptive evolution within a system. Fitness transmission is the correlation between the fitness of parents and children, where fitness is evaluated after the number of grandchildren, suitably normalised. This measure is a direct calculation based on a genealogical record, rather than on genetic or phenotypic observation. We point out that the Bedau-Packard statistics of evolutionary activity cannot be used as a reliable system-wide signature of adaptive evolution, because they can produce positive signals when applied to certain “random”, non-evolutionary systems. We apply fitness transmission to simple evolutionary algorithms (as well as neutral equivalents) and demonstrate its capacity to accurately detect the presence or absence of Darwinian evolution.

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