The University of Sussex

Analysis of evolved sensory-motor controllers

D.T. Cliff, P. Husbands, I. Harvey

We present results from the concurrent evolution of visual sensing morphologies and sensory-motor controller-networks for visually guided robots. In this paper we analyse two (of many) networks which result from using incremental evolution with variable-length genotypes. The two networks come from separate populations, evolved using a common fitness function. The observable behaviours of the two robots are very similar, and close to the optimal behaviour. However, the underlying sensing morphologies and sensory-motor controllers are strikingly different. This is a case of convergent evolution at the behavioural level, coupled with divergent evolution at the morphological level. The action of the evolved networks is described. We discuss the process of analysing evolved artificial networks, a process which bears many similarities to analysing biological nervous systems in the field of neuroethology.

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