Using Genetic Algorithms to Simulate Evolution

Manasa Josyula

Evolution is the theory that plants and animals today have come from kinds that have existed in the past. Scientists such as Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace dedicate their life to observe how species interact with their environment, grow, and change. We are able to predict future changes as well as simulate the process using genetic algorithms. Genetic Algorithms give us the opportunity to present multiple variables and parameters to an environment and change values to simulate different situations. By optimizing genetic algorithms to hold entities in an environment, we are able to assign varying characteristics such as speed, size, and cloning probability, to the entities to simulate real natural selection and evolution in a shorter period of time. Learning about how species grow and evolve allows us to find ways to improve technology, help animals going extinct to survive, and figure* out how diseases spread and possible ways of making an environment uninhabitable for them. Using data from an environment including genetic algorithms and parameters of speed, size, and cloning percentage, the ability to test several changes in the environment and observe how the species interacts within it appears. After testing different environments with a varied amount of food while keeping the number of starting population at 10 entities, it was found that an environment with a scarce amount of food was not sustainable for small and slow entities. All environments displayed an increase in speed, but the environments that were richer in food allowed for the entities to live for the entire duration of 50 generations, as well as allowed the population to grow significantly.

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