Open-ended evolution in cellular automata worlds

Conference Date
Lyon, France
Date Published
September 2017
Conference Date: 2017, Vol. 14, Pages 438-445.
(doi: 10.7551/ecal_a_073)
© 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license
Article PDF (853.3 KB)

Open-ended evolution is a fundamental issue in artificial life research. We consider biological and social systems as a flux of interacting components that transiently participate in interactions with other system components as part of these systems. This approach and the corresponding reasoning suggest that systems able to deliver open-ended evolution must have a representation equivalent of Turing machines. Here we provide an implementation of a such model of evolving systems using a cellular automata world. We analyze the simulated world using a set of metrics based on criteria of open-ended evolution suggested by Bedau et al. We show that the cellular automata world has significantly more evolutionary activity than a corresponding random shadow world. Our work indicates that the proposed cellular automata worlds have the potential to generate open-ended evolution according to the criteria that we have considered.