Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 343–374 | Cite as

On evolvability and robustness in the matrix-GRT model

  • Uwe Tangen


Quantifying evolution and understanding robustness are best done with a system that is both rich enough to frustrate rigging of the answer and simple enough to permit comparison against either existing systems or absolute measures. Such a system is provided by the self-referential model matrix-genome, replication and translation, based on the concept of operators, which is introduced here. Ideas are also taken from the evolving micro-controller research. This new model replaces micro-controllers by simple matrix operations. These matrices, seen as abstract proteins, work on abstract genomes, peptides or other proteins. Studying the evolutionary properties shows that the protein-only hypothesis (proteins as active elements) shows poor evolvability and the RNA-before-protein hypothesis (genomes controlling) exhibits similar intricate evolutionary dynamics as in the micro-controller model. A simple possible explanation for this surprising difference in behavior is presented. In addition to existing evolutionary models, dynamical and organizational changes or transitions occurring late in long-term experiments are demonstrated.


Evolvability Emergence of replication GRT model RNA world Protein world Evolutionary robustness 



Many thanks to Peter Wills and Norman Packard for encouraging me to write this paper and to John McCaskill for providing the infrastructure. Reviewers made an excellent job and hopefully helped to improve the paper. Many thanks to Lee Altenberg and his help to improve the readability of the paper, in addition I am grateful for Charles Stewart helping to improve the English. This research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement 318671 (MICREAgents). I am also indebted to Brigitte Hantsche-Tangen for her support, patience and love.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (pdf 30165 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BioMIP, Organic Chemistry IRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany

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