Preprint 01-pfs-004

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Fitness Landscapes

Peter F. Stadler

Fitness landscapes are a valuable concept in evolutionary biology, combinatorial optimization, and the physics of disordered systems. A fitness landscape is a mapping from a configuration space that is equipped with some notion of adjacency, nearness, distance or accessibility, into the real numbers. Landscape theory has emerged as an attempt to devise suitable mathematical structures for describing the ``static'' properties of landscapes as well as their influence on the dynamics of adaptation. This chapter gives a brief overview on recent developments in this area, focusing on ``geometrical'' properties of landscapes.

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