Modelling stigmergic gene transfer

D. Polani, M. Prokopenko, M. Chadwick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


We consider an information-theoretic model studying the
conditions when a separation between the dynamics of a
’proto-cell’ and its proto-symbolic representation becomes
beneficial in terms of preserving the proto-cell’s information
in a noisy environment. In particular, we are interested in
understanding the behaviour at the “error threshold” level
which, in our case, turns out to be a whole “error interval”.
We separate the phenomena into a “waste” and a “loss”
component; the “waste” measures “packaging” information
which envelops the proto-cell’s information, but itself does
not contain any information of interest, the “loss” measures
how much of the proto-symbolically encoded information is
actually lost. We observe that transitions in the waste/loss
functions correspond to the boundaries of the “error interval”.
Secondly, we study whether and how different protocells
can share such information via a joint code, even if they
have slightly different individual dynamics. Implications for
the emergence of biological genetic code are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArtificial Life XI
Subtitle of host publicationProcs of the 11th Int Conf on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems
EditorsSeth Bullock, Jason Noble, Richard Watson, Mark A. Bedau
PublisherMIT Press
ISBN (Print)978-0-262-75017-2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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