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Bak-Sneppen Ecosystem Model

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Slide 1Slide 2Slide 3Slide 4Slide 5Slide 6Slide 7Slide 8Slide 9Slide 10Slide 11Slide 12Slide 13Strategies and Rubrics for Teaching Chaos and Complex Systems Theories as Elaborating, Self-Organizing, and Fractionating Evolutionary SystemsFichter, Lynn S., Pyle, E.J., and Whitmeyer, S.J., 2010, Journal of Geoscience Education (in press)Bak-Sneppen Ecosystem ModelRule One - find the species with the lowest fitness and randomly change its fitness.Rule Two - at the same time the lowest fit species is changed, also randomly change the fitness of the species to the immediate left and right.The Bak-Sneppen evolutionary model is an “ecosystem” in which the fitness of each “species” changes because of its relationships with other “species”, following two simple rulesModeling an Evolutionary Systemthe highest level the lowest fitness species has reachedThreshold fitnessGeneration 1Rule One - find the species with the lowest fitness and randomly change its fitness.Rule Two - at the same time the lowest fit species is changed, also randomly change the fitness of the species to the immediate left and right.The Bak-Sneppen evolutionary model is an “ecosystem” in which the fitness of each “species” changes because of its relationships with other “species”, following two simple rulesModeling an Evolutionary Systemthe highest level the lowest fitness species has reachedThreshold fitnessGeneration 2Rule One - find the species with the lowest fitness and randomly change its fitness.Rule Two - at the same time the lowest fit species is changed, also randomly change the fitness of the species to the immediate left and right.The Bak-Sneppen evolutionary model is an “ecosystem” in which the fitness of each “species” changes because of its relationships with other “species”, following two simple rulesModeling an Evolutionary Systemthe highest level the lowest fitness species has reachedThreshold fitnessAn avalanche is a cascade of fitness changes below the threshold (i.e. all the blinking dots below the line) between one rise of the threshold fitness and the next rise.We do not expect random processes to result in an organized outcome. Does any interesting behavior emerge from this simple system?Modeling an Evolutionary SystemRun Bak-Sneppen1. Watch the species above the threshold. How stable are they?•How much are they able to change on their own?•How much do they contribute to raising the threshold line to the next level?2. Get personal. Pick out one species above the threshold line and identify with it; imagine it is you. •How safe are you in this avalanche prone world? •How much control do you have over your destiny? Why or why not?• Are there any innocent victims?• Is there any way to protect yourself in such a world?3. Is there any part of this ecosystem that is isolated from the rest, sitting in a protected niche, independent and self sufficient?? What Are the Implications ?PQWho is likely to be conservative; liking things just the way they are? Who is likely to be liberal; wanting things to change?Modeling an Evolutionary SystemDynamics of the Bak-Sneppen Evolutionary ModelActivity pattern for the Bak-Sneppen model. Time begins at an arbitrary time after the model has self-organized at the critical state near the 0.66 threshold. Species are arranged along the horizontal axis (from -20 to +20). Each circle indicates a time a given species undergoes a mutation. For example, at about time 2000 species -7 through +7 are undergoing mutations; by time 4000 activity has shifted to -20 to -10. That is, there is an avalanche in that portion of the ecosystem. As the avalanches move to other species the activity circles move to those other species, and species that are not mutating do not have activity circles for that time span.SpeciesActivity PatternTime (generation steps)Modeling an Evolutionary SystemDynamics of the Bak-Sneppen Evolutionary ModelEcosystem Threshold FitnessStepwise rising threshold fitnessThreshold FitnessGenerations Graph showing the climb of the threshold fitness for the whole ecosystem with time. Threshold fitness is the highest fitness the least fit species has attained. A step up to a new threshold occurs only when all species climb above the old threshold, thus ending an avalanche. As the graph shows this takes progressively more time as the threshold fitness rises. Note that the rise in ecosystem fitness is punctuational, or behaves like a Self Organized Critical sandpile.The Devil's StaircaseThe fate of individual speciesGenerationsstasispunctuational changeModeling an Evolutionary SystemDynamics of the Bak-Sneppen Evolutionary Model The Devil's staircase shows the accumulated activity of one species. Horizontal lines are times of stasis. Vertical jumps are mutations; note these come in bundles over short time intervals (are punctuational). In reality there are many more mutation steps than shown. One can think of the number of changes as representing the amount of physical change in the animal, such as size. The Self Organized Criticality (aka "punctuated equilibrium“) nature of the curve is evident in the long times of stasis followed by jumps in activity.Properties of Complex Evolutionary SystemsPower Law Relationships – Bak-SneppenUniversalityAvalanche sizes in the Bak-Sneppen modelMutation frequency in the Bak-Sneppen modelStuart Kauffman“The critical point is not, as Stuart Kauffman once described it, “a nice place to be.” So “survival of the fittest” does not imply evolution to a state where everybody is well off. On the contrary, individual species are barely able to hang on - like the grains of sand in the critical sand pile.” Maybe there is no “cause” to disasters and extinctionsMaybe disasters (avalanches) are just part of the dynamic of


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