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In some circumstances complex adaptive systems composed of numerous self-interested agents can self-organize into structures that enhance global adaptation, efficiency, or function. However, the general conditions for such an outcome are poorly understood and present a fundamental open question for domains as varied as ecology, sociology, economics,(More)
Simple distributed strategies that modify the behavior of selfish individuals in a manner that enhances cooperation or global efficiency have proved difficult to identify. We consider a network of selfish agents who each optimize their individual utilities by coordinating (or anticoordinating) with their neighbors, to maximize the payoffs from randomly(More)
Development introduces structured correlations among traits that may constrain or bias the distribution of phenotypes produced. Moreover, when suitable heritable variation exists, natural selection may alter such constraints and correlations, affecting the phenotypic variation available to subsequent selection. However, exactly how the distribution of(More)
When a dynamical system with multiple point attractors is released from an arbitrary initial condition it will relax into a configuration that locally resolves the constraints or opposing forces between interdependent state variables. However, when there are many conflicting interdependencies between variables, finding a configuration that globally(More)
The natural energy minimization behavior of a dynamical system can be interpreted as a simple optimization process, finding a locally optimal resolution of problem constraints. In human problem solving, high-dimensional problems are often made much easier by inferring a low-dimensional model of the system in which search is more effective. But this is an(More)
The role of symbiosis in macro-evolution is poorly understood. On the one hand, symbiosis seems to be a perfectly normal manifestation of individual selection, on the other hand, in some of the major transitions in evolution it seems to be implicated in the creation of new higher-level units of selection. Here we present a model of individual selection for(More)