Investigating the Emergence of Multicellularity Using a Population of Neural Network Agents

  • Ehud Schlessinger
  • Peter J. Bentley
  • R. Beau Lotto
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4193)


This paper expands Mosaic World, an artificial life model, in order to directly test theories on the emergence of multicellular life. Five experiments are conducted and demonstrate that both the presence of predation and accidental aggregation are sufficient conditions for the transition to multicellularity. In addition, it is shown that division of labour is a major benefit for aggregation, and evolves even if aggregates ‘pay’ for abilities they do not use. Analysis of evolved results shows multiple parallels to natural systems, such as differentiation in constituent members of an aggregate, and life-like, complex ecosystems.


Metabolic Rate Multicellular Organism Aggregation Mode Standard Metabolic Rate Secondary Module 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ehud Schlessinger
    • 1
  • Peter J. Bentley
    • 2
  • R. Beau Lotto
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of OphthalmologyUniversity College LondonLondon
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity College LondonLondon

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