A comparison of neutral landscapes - NK, NKp and NKq

Nicholas Geard, Janet Wiles, Jennifer Hallinan, Bradley Tonkes, Ben Skellett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research in molecular evolution has raised awareness of the importance of selective neutrality. Several different models of neutrality have been proposed based on Kauffman's well-known NK landscape model. Two of these models, NKp and NKq, are investigated and found to display significantly different structural properties. The fitness distributions of these neutral landscapes reveal that their levels of correlation with non-neutral landscapes are significantly different, as are the distributions of neutral mutations. In this paper we describe a series of simulations of a hill climbing search algorithm on NK, NKp and NKq landscapes with varying levels of epistatic interaction. These simulations demonstrate differences in the way that epistatic interaction affects the 'searchability' of neutral landscapes. We conclude that the method used to implement neutrality has an impact on both the structure of the resulting landscapes and on the performance of evolutionary search algorithms on these landscapes. These model-dependent effects must be taken into consideration when modelling biological phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2002 Congress on Evolutionary Computation, CEC 2002
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0780372824, 9780780372825
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
Event2002 Congress on Evolutionary Computation, CEC 2002 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: 12 May 200217 May 2002


Other2002 Congress on Evolutionary Computation, CEC 2002
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI


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