Evolvability Workshop at 7th International Conference on Artificial Life

Call for Papers & Participation:

Evolvability Workshop at the Seventh International Conference
on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems
1-2 August 2000, Reed College, Portland, Oregon, USA

Keynote Speakers: Lee Altenberg (University of Hawaii, Manoa) and Günter P. Wagner (Yale University)

ON-LINE PROCEEDINGS ARE AVAILABLE from http://homepages.feis.herts.ac.uk/~nehaniv/al7ev/

WORKHOP SCHEDULE: http://homepages.feis.herts.ac.uk/~nehaniv/EVp.html


As workers in Artifical Life know well, the capacity to evolve "good" solutions is not an automatic by-product of the use of evolutionary methods. The little understood capacity, observed in the history of evolution of life on earth, to be able to reach "good" solutions via evolution is called `Evolvability', and we seek to characterize, understand and apply it. This workshop is aimed to bring together researchers from various disciplines to better understand the nature and mechanisms that do or could support evolvability in biology, evolutionary computation, artificial life, software systems and applications.

This EVOLVABILITY WORKSHOP follows upon the growing awareness from academia, industry, and research communities of the importance of a capacity to vary robustly over time or generations in digital and natural systems.

Darwinian evolution characterized by heritable variation and selection is not by itself sufficient to account for the capacity to vary and inherent phenotypic expressions of fitness. Rigidity of genotype-phenotype mappings, as often used in evolutionary computation, constrains the dynamics of evolution to a small space of possible biological or artificial systems. Open-ended evolution is not possible under such constraints. Evolution, by itself, cannot fully explain the advant of genetic systems, the flexible genotype-phenotype mappings, heritable fitness. This presents a challenge both to biologists seeking to understand the capacity of life to evolve and to computer scientists who seek to harness biological-like robustness and openness in the evolution of artificial systems.

Evolvability has been variously defined as the `genome's ability to produce adaptive variants when acted on by the genetic system' (Wagner & Altenberg, 1996), as the `capacity to generate heritable phenotypic variation' (Kirschner & Gerhart, 1998); and as characterized by `evolutionary watersheds' opening the `floodgates to future evolution', such as segmentation and body plans (Dawkins, 1987).

We solicit submissions reporting work in this exciting area.


TOPICS FOCUS ON EVOLVABILITY, and might relate to such aspects as:


Chrystopher L. Nehaniv (University of Hertfordshire, UK)



The workshop participants are required to register for the ALIFE 7 conference. 
Those who would like to attend but do not have a presentation accepted for the workshop, please register for ALIFE 7 and then send e-mail to C.L.Nehaniv@herts.ac.uk giving your name and affiliation.


Submissions of 1 page position papers or extended abstracts, or full papers up to 4 pages (postscript in two column format -- links to ALIFE 7 latex format files are here) and questions about submissions should be directed to arrive by the deadline via e-mail to Chrystopher L. Nehaniv at C.L.Nehaniv@herts.ac.uk. Submissions should show authors' names, affiliations and contact information. Please use the subject "ALIFE 7: EVOLVABILITY submission" when making your e-mail submission. Hardcopies may be sent to:

Chrystopher Nehaniv (Evolvability Workshop)
Interactive Systems Engineering
University of Hertfordshire
Hatfield, Herts AL10 9AB
United Kingdom


19 May 2000: Workshop Submissions Due
29 May 2000: Notification to Authors
10 June 2000: Final Papers Must be Received for Publication (Electronic Form)
1-2 August 2000: Evolvability Workshop
1-7 August 2000: Seventh International Conference on Artificial Life


We are publishing the accepted full papers as an in-house publication of the ALIFE 7 conference, and the full papers, position papers, and accepted poster abstracts also as a University of Hertfordshire Technical Report. Pending approval of the ALIFE 7 organizers, we plan to organize a special journal issue dedicated to issues of the workshop.

The Workshop will comprise as many few keynote talks, contributed talks, posters, and a panel discussions with participants from different research areas as are possible within the allocated time.

Latest News: The workshop will be held in two parts: According to the latest provisional schedule, one part on 1 August in the afternoon (4 hours), the 2nd part on 2 August after dinner (3 hours).

Participation by non-authors is also welcome from attendees of the Artificial Life conference (but may be restricted subject to space limitations).

ON-LINE PROCEEDINGS ARE AVAILABLE from http://homepages.feis.herts.ac.uk/~nehaniv/al7ev/

WORKHOP SCHEDULE: http://homepages.feis.herts.ac.uk/~nehaniv/EVp.html

Chrystopher Nehaniv, 2/2000.
Last Update 28 July 2000
Workshop URL: http://homepages.feis.herts.ac.uk/~nehaniv/EVOLVABILITY.html