Jason Stredwick

jason.stredwick@gmail.com

Current Residence:
Bothell, WA 98011
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Abstract

EVOLUTIONARY DYNAMICS OF 3D DIGITAL CONSTRUCTS
By
Jason Michael Stredwick

Convergence and stagnation are two of the biggest obstacles to the development of openended, evolving systems. These issues have received much attention in both traditional biological research and in the field of Evolutionary Computation. Here I study their effects on evolution in 3D virtual worlds, with a focus on the evolving population.s ability to continuously produce new, nontrivial survival strategies. I pay particular attention to measures of convergence, stagnation, and fitness, which provide an avenue for comparison among distinct evolving systems. Toward this goal, I designed and utilized an evolutionary system called WhirlingDervish that evolves 3D morphology and behavior to examine these issues.

Convergence and stagnation are clearly related qualities. I define convergence as the reduction in genetic diversity among individuals in a population, and stagnation as the population's lack of progress towards the evolutionary goal over a period of time. The process of measuring these qualities in a population draws upon methodologies commonly used in biology and evolutionary computation, including measures of genetic diversity and both genetic and phenotypic variation. I test how informative these methodologies are toward approximating the level of continued evolution in WhirlingDervish and make use of their results to compare potential fitness functions. Finally, I look for correlations between these measurements and the structural and behavioral qualities of individuals in the final population.