Neutrality in Fitness Landscapes


Christian M. Reidys, Peter F. Stadler

The interplay of ruggedness and neutrality in fitness landscapes plays an important role in explaining the dynamics of evolutionary adaptation. While various measures of ruggedness (correlation functions, adaptive walks, or the density of local optima) are reasonably well understood, and models for constructing landscapes with a desired degree of ruggedness are readily available, very little is known about neutrality. We introduce the notion of additive random landscapes as a framework for tuning both neutrality and ruggedness at once, and we develop a formalism that allows the explicit computation of the most salient parameters that are associated with neutrality in landscapes of this type.

Submitted to Appl. Math. & Comput..

Keywords: Random Landscapes, Ruggedness, Neutrality, Combinatorial Optimization

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