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Defining and simulating open-ended novelty: requirements, guidelines, and challenges

Banzhaf, W and Baumgaertner, B and Beslon, G and Doursat, R and Foster, JA and McMullin, B and de Melo, VV and Miconi, T and Spector, L and Stepney, S and White, R (2016) Defining and simulating open-ended novelty: requirements, guidelines, and challenges. Theory in Biosciences, 135 (3). pp. 131-161. ISSN 1431-7613


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The open-endedness of a system is often defined as a continual production of novelty. Here we pin down this concept more fully by defining several types of novelty that a system may exhibit, classified as variation, innovation, and emergence. We then provide a meta-model for including levels of structure in a system’s model. From there, we define an architecture suitable for building simulations of open-ended novelty-generating systems and discuss how previously proposed systems fit into this framework. We discuss the design principles applicable to those systems and close with some challenges for the community.

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