The Genetic coding style of digital organisms
Paper in proceedings, 2005
Recently, all the human genes were identified. But understanding the functions coded in the genes is of course a much harder problem. We are used to view DNA as some sort of a computer code, but there are striking differences. For example, by using entropy, it has been shown that the DNA code is much closer to random code than written text, which in turn is less ordered than ordinary computer code. Instead of saying that the DNA is badly written, using common programming standards, we might say that it is written in a different style − an evolutionary style. In this paper the coding style of creatures from the artificial life platform Avida has been studied. Avida creatures that have evolved under different size merit methods and mutation rates have been analysed using the notion of stylistic measures. The analysis has shown that the evolutionary coding style depends on the environment in which the code evolved, and that the choice of size merit method and mutation probabilities affect different stylistic properties of the genome. A better understanding of Avidas coding style, might eventually lead to insights of evolutionary codes in general.