Europhys. Lett.
Volume 48, Number 3, November 1999
Page(s) 346 - 352
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 September 2002
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i1999-00487-7

Europhys. Lett, 48 (3), pp. 346-352 (1999)

Evolution dynamics in terraced NK landscapes

P. Sibani and A. Pedersen

Fysisk Institut, SDU-Odense Universitet
Campusvej 55, DK5230 Odense M, Denmark

(received 15 April 1999; accepted in final form 1 September 1999)

PACS. 87.10${\rm +e}$ - Biological and medical physics: General theory and mathematical aspects.
PACS. 87.15Aa - Biomolecules: Theory and modeling; computer simulation.
PACS. 05.40${\rm -a}$ - Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion.


We consider populations of agents evolving in the fitness landscape of an extended $\bf NK$ model with a tunable amount of neutrality. We study the statistics of the jumps in mean population fitness which occur in the "punctuated equilibrium'' regime and show that, for a wide range of landscapes parameters, the number of events in time t is Poisson distributed, with the time parameter replaced by the logarithm of time. This simple log-Poisson statistics likewise describes the number of records in any sequence of t independently generated random numbers. The implications of such behavior for evolution dynamics are discussed.


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