Representation of Genotype and Phenotype in a Coherent Framework Based on Extended L-Systems

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A formal language approach for the specification of ALife models is presented. “Relational Growth Grammars” incorporate rule-based, procedural and object-oriented concepts. By enabling parametric Lindenmayer systems to rewrite multiscaled graphs, it becomes possible to represent genes, plant organs and populations as well as developmental aspects of these entities in a common formal framework. Genetic operators (mutation, crossing-over, selection) take the form of simple graph rewrite rules. This is illustrated using Richard Dawkins’ “biomorphs”, whereas other applications are briefly sketched. The formalism is implemented as part of an interactive software platform.