© 2020

The Evolution of Complexity

Simple Simulations of Major Innovations


Part of the Emergence, Complexity and Computation book series (ECC, volume 37)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Larry Bull
    Pages 1-4
  3. Larry Bull
    Pages 5-16
  4. Larry Bull
    Pages 17-29
  5. Sex
    Larry Bull
    Pages 31-49
  6. Larry Bull
    Pages 51-61
  7. Larry Bull
    Pages 63-72
  8. Larry Bull
    Pages 73-74
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 75-87

About this book


This book gathers together much of the author’s work – both old and new - to explore a number of the key increases in complexity seen in the natural world, seeking to explain each of them purely in terms of the features of fitness landscapes. In a very straightforward manner, the book introduces basic concepts to help readers follow the main ideas. By using variations of the NK model and including the concept of the Baldwin effect, the author presents new abstract models that are able to explain why sources of evolutionary innovation (genomes, symbiosis, sex, chromosomes, multicellularity) have been selected for and hence how complexity has increased over time in some lineages.


Evolutionary Innovation Baldwin Effect Landscape Ruggedness Fitness Landscape Models Evolution of Sex Evolution of Genome Length Evolution of Multicellularity Evolution of Symbiosis NK Model NKCS Model Evolution of Mating Types Model of Coevolution Emergence of Dominance Evolution of Sex Chromosomes Symbiogenesis Eusociality

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of the West of EnglandDepartment of Computer Science and Creative TechnologiesBristolUK

About the authors

Larry Bull is Professor of artificial intelligence at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, UK. His main research interest is evolution, the computational modelling of natural systems and its use in artificial systems. He has published widely in areas such as artificial life, evolutionary computing, and unconventional computing. Prof Bull was the Founding Editor-in-Chief for the Springer journal Evolutionary Intelligence and has edited a number of books on evolutionary reinforcement learning. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Evolution of Complexity
  • Book Subtitle Simple Simulations of Major Innovations
  • Authors Larry Bull
  • Series Title Emergence, Complexity and Computation
  • Series Abbreviated Title Emergence, Complexity, Computation
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Engineering Engineering (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-40729-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-40732-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-40730-8
  • Series ISSN 2194-7287
  • Series E-ISSN 2194-7295
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages X, 88
  • Number of Illustrations 64 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Complexity
    Evolutionary Biology
    Machine Learning
    Complex Systems
  • Buy this book on publisher's site