de facto fitness functions and unexpected early evolution
When people talk about their artificial life computer simulations, they often say that there is no fitness function—no bit of code that decides which bit of software lives, dies, or reproduces. Even if it isn’t happening on purpose, the design of the overall system can still cause a de facto fitness function, and behaviors you didn’t expect, and perhaps, really didn’t want. It has already happened to me and my figures, despite using only a small test population of two or three individuals.
Here’s a link to episode 112, about Polyworld.
Here’s a link to a talk about Polyworld. The interesting bit where their de facto fitness function caused problems is at 30 minutes and 25 seconds.