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Neuromodulation is considered a key factor for learning and memory in biological neural networks. Similarly, artificial neural networks could benefit from modulatory dynamics when facing certain types of learning problem. Here we test this hypothesis by introducing modulatory neurons to enhance or dampen neural plasticity at target neural nodes. Simulated(More)
Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are applied to many real-world problems, ranging from pattern classification to robot control. In order to design a neural network for a particular task, the choice of an architecture (including the choice of a neuron model), and the choice of a learning algorithm have to be addressed. Evolutionary search methods can(More)
Environments with varying reward contingencies constitute a challenge to many living creatures. In such conditions, animals capable of adaptation and learning derive an advantage. Recent studies suggest that neuromodulatory dynamics are a key factor in regulating learning and adaptivity when reward conditions are subject to variability. In biological neural(More)
The manual design of control systems for robotic devices can be challenging. Methods for the automatic synthesis of control systems, such as the evolution of artificial neural networks, are thus widely used in the robotics community. However, in many robotic tasks where multiple interdependent control problems have to be solved simultaneously, the(More)
In biomedical signal analysis, artificial neural networks are often used for pattern classification because of their capability for nonlinear class separation and the possibility to efficiently implement them on a microcontroller. Typically, the network topology is designed by hand, and a gradient-based search algorithm is used to find a set of suitable(More)
In this paper we describe a new class of representations for real-valued parameters called Center of Mass Encoding (CoME). CoME is based on variable length strings, it is self-adaptive, and it permits the choice of the degree of redundancy of the genotype-to-phenotype map and the choice of the distribution of the redundancy over the space of phenotypes. We(More)
Neuromodulation is thought to be one of the underlying principles of learning and memory in biological neural networks. Recent experiments have shown that neuroevolutionary methods benefit from neuromodulation in simple grid-world problems. In this paper we investigate the performance of a neuroevolutionary method applied to a more realistic robotic task.(More)
The expression of genes is controlled by regulatory networks, which perform fundamental information processing and control mechanisms in a cell. Unraveling and modelling these networks will be indispensable to gain a systems-level understanding of biological organisms and genetically related diseases. In this thesis, we present an evolutionary reverse(More)