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Mutation Systems Dana Angluin, James Aspnes, and Raonne Barbosa Vargas
 

Summary: Mutation Systems
Dana Angluin, James Aspnes, and Raonne Barbosa Vargas
Department of Computer Science, Yale University
Abstract. We propose Mutation Systems as a model of the evolution of a string
subject to the effects of mutations and a fitness function. One fundamental ques-
tion about such a system is whether knowing the rules for mutations and fitness,
we can predict whether it is possible for one string to evolve into another. To
explore this issue we define a specific kind of mutation system with point muta-
tions and a fitness function based on conserved strongly k-testable string patterns.
We show that for k 2, such systems can simulate computation by both finite
state machines and asynchronous cellular automata. The cellular automaton sim-
ulation shows that in this framework, universal computation is possible and the
question of whether one string can evolve into another is undecidable. We also
analyze the efficiency of the finite state machine simulation assuming random
point mutations.
1 Introduction
Biological evolution proceeds by variation and selection. Efforts to determine the evo-
lutionary relationships of different organisms often involve comparing the DNA se-
quences of their genomes to find similar subsequences that have been conserved during
evolution, on the assumption that the conserved subsequences affect the fitness of the

  

Source: Aspnes, James - Department of Computer Science, Yale University

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences