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See How She Runs: Towards Visualising Artificial Red Queen Evolution

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5 Author(s)

Since Darwin originally proposed that one of the primary drives in evolution towards increased complexity might be biotic competition, the search for examples of this phenomenon has been a major objective for students of evolution. The Red Queen hypothesis proposes that this competition is never-ending; as an organism or species improves in some manner relative to its competitors, these competitors are also improving. This results in an evolutionary “arms race” in which neither side maintains its advantage for long. Examples of the Red Queen effect from the natural world can be found, but it is perhaps in artificial evolutionary systems that there is the greatest scope for gaining a deeper understanding of the nature of evolutionary change under such circumstances, whether gradualistic or punctuational for example. Here we present a model of coadaptation and introduce a visualisation method for tracking changes in the fitness landscape and the population's location on it. This enables the Red Queen's endless run within the model to be visualised.