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PDF (3.74 MB)
Pages 67-74
First published 2 July 2012

Open Ended Evolution of 3D Multicellular Development Controlled by Gene Regulatory Networks

Michal Joachimczak, Borys Wróbel


We demonstrate how a novelty search algorithm can be used to create an open ended evolution system for 3-dimensional(3D) morphologies in which a constant evolutionary pressure exists for new shapes to be produced. In our platform, GReaNs, multicellular development starts from a single cell and all cells share the same genome and the same topology of the regulatory network. The size of the genome and the size of the network are not limited. Gene products can influence gene expression in the cells that produce them (such products act like transcription factors) or diffuse from one cell to another (acting like morphogens in biological development). We use the novelty search algorithm as a way to explore the space of achievable phenotypes in our platform for a given developmental setup. We analyze the evolutionary history in independent runs to see if a similar area of the phenotypic space is explored and discuss the features of evolutionary histories in the novelty search.