Objective: Get some of the logistical issues of implementing spatial heterogeneity figured out.
This post is rather late in coming. See Audra's post below for details on more recent results. We had two meetings on Wednesday, February 5th to discuss how to implement spatial heterogeneity.
From left to right: Randy Olson, Audra Chaput, Emily Dolson.
Photographer: Sam Perez
Lots of ideas being discussed.
Since gradient resources in Avida are implemented by circles, we decided to keep them that way. We decided that like Walker and Ofria (2012), we would get measurements of evolvability of a complex task (EQU) and Shannon diversity.
One research question that we are trying to test is whether greater diversity results in greater evolvability, or vice-versa. One way to test that is by incorporating spatial resource heterogeneity, which allows us to manipulate different configurations of resource availability to organisms. These configurations will have different potential evolvabilities across the environment (because the simpler resources are not always available everywhere to make the same evolutionary jumps that occur in standard Avida). We decided that resources in patches had to be randomized between runs. We also decided to have two or three resources per patch.