Paper abstract

Catalytic Reaction Sets, Decay, and the Preservation of Information

Wim Hordijk and José F. Fontanari

In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Integration of Knowledge Intensive Multi-Agent Systems, 133-138, 2003.

We study the ability to maintain information in a population of reacting polymers under the influence of decay, i.e., spontaneous breakdown of large polymers. At a certain decay rate, it becomes impossible to maintain a significant concentration of large polymers, while it is still possible to maintain sets of smaller polymers that can maintain the same amount of information. We use a genetic algorithm to evolve reaction sets to generate specific polymer distributions under the influence of decay. In these evolved reaction sets, the beginnings of hypercycle-type structures can be observed, which are believed to have been an important step toward the evolution of the first living cells.