Complex Systems

Nonbinary Representations in the NK and NKCS Models Download PDF

Larry Bull
Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies
University of the West of England
Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK


The NK model has been used widely to explore aspects of natural evolution and complex systems. Traditionally, the model has used a binary representation scheme. This paper introduces a modified form of the NK model through which to systematically explore the effects of discrete, nonbinary representations on evolution over rugged fitness landscapes. Results suggest the basic properties of the original model remain but changes are seen in walk lengths to optima and the sensitivity to mutation rates, in particular. The variation to the case of coupled fitness landscapes, the NKCS model, is also extended in the same way. Again, similarities and differences to the binary case are found.

Keywords: coevolution; evolution; fitness landscapes; mutation

Cite this publication as:
L. Bull, “Nonbinary Representations in the NK and NKCS Models,” Complex Systems, 31(1), 2022 pp. 87–101.