Complex Systems

The Effect of Learning on the Evolution of Asexual Populations Download PDF

J. F. Fontanari
Instituto de Fisica e Quimica de Sao Carlos, Universidade de Sao Paulo,
Caixa Postal 369, 13560 Sao Carlos SP Brazil

R. Meir
Division of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology,
Pasadena, CA 91125 USA


We study a model for the effect of learning on a population of asexually reproducing individuals. While current models are usually based on simulations of the actual hypothetical organisms, we adopt a classic population genetic approach, which deals directly with gene frequencies. This allows us to investigate the model in great detail, obtaining results which are difficult to obtain using other techniques. In particular, we demonstrate that learning has a drastic effect on evolution, as has already been noted by Hinton and Nowlan [3] using computer simulations. A detailed quantitative description of the temporal behavior of the model is also presented. In particular, an interesting interplay between mutation and learning is demonstrated.