Infoscience

Journal article

Genetic Team Composition and Level of Selection in the Evolution of Cooperation

In cooperative multiagent systems, agents interact to solve tasks. Global dynamics of multiagent teams result from local agent interactions, and are complex and difficult to predict. Evolutionary computation has proven a promising approach to the design of such teams. The majority of current studies use teams composed of agents with identical control rules (“genetically homogeneous teams”) and select behavior at the team level (“team-level selection”). Here we extend current approaches to include four combinations of genetic team composition and level of selection. We compare the performance of genetically homogeneous teams evolved with individual-level selection, genetically homogeneous teams evolved with team-level selection, genetically heterogeneous teams evolved with individual-level selection, and genetically heterogeneous teams evolved with team-level selection. We use a simulated foraging task to show that the optimal combination depends on the amount of cooperation required by the task. Accordingly, we distinguish between three types of cooperative tasks and suggest guidelines for the optimal choice of genetic team composition and level of selection.

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