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Pages 554-560
First published 2 September 2013

Open-Ended Evolution of a Circadian Rhythm

Tiago Baptista, Ernesto Costa


Most biological systems have some sort of adaptation to our planet's cycle of day and night. This adaptation is a current subject of scientific research, and serves as inspiration to develop a multi-agent simulation to investigate the evolution of complexity in an open-ended evolutionary framework. In a previous work, we created a simulated world where artificial organisms evolve to synchronize with a daily cycle of light and darkness. A multi-agent, artificial life framework was used to implement these simulations. In this paper, we further develop that world, by adding caves to the environment. When in these caves, the agents will perceive a low level of light, as if it were night. This adds an extra layer of complexity to the desired behavior of the agents, as now they need to distinguish "night" from "cave". Using the same agent structure, and the same open-ended evolution framework, we show that the agents evolve to adapt to this new environment. We also show how the agents adapt to the environment with caves, by analyzing their brains.