Random Field Models for Fitness Landscapes

Peter F. Stadler and Robert Happel

In many cases fitness landscapes are obtained as particular instances of random fields by assigning a large number of random parameters. Models of this type are often characterized reasonably well by their covariance matrices. We characterize isotropic random fields on finite graphs in terms of their Fourier series expansions and investigate the relation between the covariance matrix of the random field model and the correlation structure of the individual landscapes constructed from this random field. Our formalism suggests to approximate landscape with known autocorrelation function by a random field model that has the same correlation structure.

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