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Just How (Un)realistic Are Evolutionary Algorithms As Representations of Social Processes?

This paper attempts to illustrate the importance of a coherent behavioural interpretation in applying evolutionary algorithms like Genetic Algorithms and Genetic Programming to the modelling of social processes. It summarises and draws out the implications of the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis for processes of social evolution and then discusses the extent to which evolutionary algorithms capture the aspects of biological evolution which are relevant to social processes. The paper uses several recent papers in the field as case studies, discussing more and less successful uses of evolutionary algorithms in social science. The key aspects of evolution discussed in the paper are that it is dependent on relative rather than absolute fitness, it does not require global knowledge or a system level teleology, it avoids the credit assignment problem, it does not exclude Lamarckian inheritance and it is both progressive and open ended.

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File URL: http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/1/3/2/2.pdf
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Article provided by Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation in its journal Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation.

Volume (Year): 1 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 2

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Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:1998-6-1
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  1. Arifovic, Jasmina, 1995. "Genetic algorithms and inflationary economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 219-243, August.
  2. Simon, Herbert A, 1978. "Rationality as Process and as Product of Thought," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 1-16, May.
  3. James B. Bullard & John Duffy, 1994. "A model of learning and emulation with artificial adaptive agents," Working Papers 1994-014, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  4. Arifovic, J. & Eaton, C., 1994. "Coordination via Genetic Learning," Discussion Papers dp94-11, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  5. Thomas, J.P., 1991. "Non-computable rational expectations equilibria," Discussion Paper 1991-25, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Winston, Gordon C., 1987. "Activity choice : A new approach to economic behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 567-585, December.
  7. Tony Curzon Price, 1997. "Using co-evolutionary programming to simulate strategic behaviour in markets," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 219-254.
  8. Tony Curson Price, 1997. "Using co-evolutionary programming to simulate strategic behaviour in markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 588, David K. Levine.
  9. Pierre-André Chiappori, 1984. "Sélection naturelle et rationalité absolue des entreprises," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 35(1), pages 87-108.
  10. Arifovic, Jasmina, 1996. "The Behavior of the Exchange Rate in the Genetic Algorithm and Experimental Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 510-41, June.
  11. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211.
  12. Arthur, W Brian, 1994. "Inductive Reasoning and Bounded Rationality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 406-11, May.
  13. Vega-Redondo, Fernando (ed.), 1996. "Evolution, Games, and Economic Behaviour," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774723, December.
  14. W. Brian Arthur, 1994. "Inductive Reasoning, Bounded Rationality and the Bar Problem," Working Papers 94-03-014, Santa Fe Institute.
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