Computational Modelling Group

Seminar  27th May 2011 4 p.m.  University of Southampton, Building 58 (Social Sciences) Room 1003

Artificial Evolution Meets Metagenomics: Rethinking Evaluation and Selection

Inman Harvey and Nick Tomko
Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems Group, University of Sussex

Web page
Artificial Neural Networks, Complex Systems, Evolution, Evolutionary Algorithms
Petrina Butler

Inman Harvey and Nick Tomko from University of Sussex will be visiting Southampton.

Complex Systems Simulation Seminar Series (CS^4)

from the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation, the Complexity in Real-World Contexts USRG, and the Computational Modelling Group.


Inman Harvey

Nick Tomko


Evolutionary Algorithms (such as Genetic Algorithms) are typically based on a conventional picture of evolution with vertical gene transfer, from one generation to the next, and evaluation of fitness being calculated for each individual, selection being done at the same individual level. However very recent Metagenomic studies have painted a rather different picture of the microbial evolution that has comprised the first 2 billion years of evolution on this planet, together with the majority of evolution even today.

This new picture of evolution is one of horizontal gene transfer -- genes are swapped between microbes without the need for successive generations; and evaluation of fitness is at the symbiotic or community level, based on the viability of an ecosystem. Though one or other of these aspects have featured in some evolutionary computation before, here we incorporate both together for the first time. This raises questions new to artificial evolution, including the possibility of explicitly separating the entities being evaluated from those that are selected. Varying the level of evaluation and selection can potentially lead to novel evolutionary algorithms with interesting properties.


Available from 3:30pm, lecture starts at 4pm.

Complex Systems Simulation Seminar Series

For the complete CS^4 schedule please click here:


Petrina Butler

Multidisciplinary Research Co-ordinator

University Strategic Research Groups

Research and Innovation Services

02380 593244