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Understanding fitness landscapes in morpho-evolution via local optima networks

Thomson, Sarah L; Le Goff, Léni; Hart, Emma; Buchanan, Edgar


Edgar Buchanan


Morpho-Evolution (ME) refers to the simultaneous optimisation of a robot's design and controller to maximise performance given a task and environment. Many genetic encodings have been proposed which are capable of representing design and control. Previous research has provided empirical comparisons between encodings in terms of their performance with respect to an objective function and the diversity of designs that are evaluated, however there has been no attempt to explain the observed findings. We address this by applying Local Optima Network (LON) analysis to investigate the structure of the fitness landscapes induced by three different encodings when evolving a robot for a locomotion task, shedding new light on the ease by which different fitness landscapes can be traversed by a search process. This is the first time LON analysis has been applied in the field of ME despite its popularity in combi-natorial optimisation domains; the findings will facilitate design of new algorithms or operators that are customised to ME landscapes in the future.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (Published)
Conference Name Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO 2024)
Start Date Jul 14, 2024
End Date Jul 18, 2024
Acceptance Date Mar 21, 2024
Deposit Date Apr 17, 2024
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Keywords fitness landscape analysis; evolutionary robotics; local optima net- works; indirect representation
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