ALife 2018

Our paper, Multi-objective Strategies for Exploring Form and Function in Crustaceans, has been accepted for publication in ALife 2018.

Authors: C. Szabo, J. Barnes, P. Munguia

Abstract: In biology, there is a direct and dynamic relationship between an individual’s \textit{form}, in terms of shape, size, number and connection of limbs, and the functions that the individual can perform, such as temperature regulation, movement, and reproduction. These relationships influence the biological diversity of existing and extinct species, and there is a critical need for biologists to further understand them. The analysis of the interplay between form, function, and environmental constraints on current species is a challenging task. The problem is difficult to formalize due to the many form and function models that need to be encoded, requiring real data for their definition. However, current research focuses on understanding how forms of imagined species can evolve to achieve optimal functions, without using real data to encode species diversity and functions. In this paper, we present an approach to study the interplay between form and function. Using real-life data collected from field experiments, our multi-objective optimization framework allows for the definition of various functions, including swimming speed, reproduction potential, and an organism’s morphology. As an example, we employ our approach to determine the optimal forms for maximum swimming speed and reproduction potential in a group of marine amphipods.


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