Symbiotic Networks

C. Pieters

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference articleAcademic


    Research of evolution theory has boomed in the last decade, and has caused a significant differentiation of the classic, 'machismo' view on Darwinism, in which nature is considered to be an arena where organisms continuously struggle for survival in fierce competition. The three 'soft' forces in evolution, sexual reproduction, altruism and symbiosis, were considered curiosities in this battlefield, with little significance for the big picture. This changed when Lynn Margulis presented the now widely accepted theory that the first living cells evolved from four bacteria that got engaged in a symbiotic relationship [Margulis, 1999]. This and other developments spurred experimental and theoretical research on the soft forces of evolution and by now sexual reproduction and altruism have got a solid theoretical foundation based on genetics and grounds of probability. However, symbiosis is still open to debate, mainly because it involves a relationship between dissimilar organisms, which makes theory based on genetics quite complicated. We aim to present a model of symbiosis based on systems theory. To be more specific, symbiosis is considered to be the result of feedback between the participants in the symbiotic relationship that optimises their mutual benefit. This model may improve our understanding of a whole range of interactions, e.g. social interactions or interactions in agent-based systems.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Title of host publicationCEC 2003, The 2003 Congres on Evolutionary Computation
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2003

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