Systems Science Friday Noon Seminar Series

Open Ended Evolution in Artificial Life



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How can we explain the explosion of diversity and complexity in the biosphere, from the emergence of single celled organisms to the panoply of living things we now observe? Human systems (economic, cultural, social, political) have exhibited similar increases. This propensity for the ongoing production of novelty is among the hallmarks of Open Ended Evolution (OEE), but while we can easily observe this phenomena in nature, we have yet to successfully simulate it. This seminar is a brief introduction to OEE, a major open question within the field of Artificial Life, explaining the concept and its importance, and providing an overview of the history of OEE research and the current state of this fascinating problem.

Biographical Information

Shane Dicks received his bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Public Policy from the James Madison College at Michigan State University in 2009. After graduation, he spent several years working in a variety of roles, industries, and organizations, while cultivating his interest in complex dynamic systems. At present, Shane is a PhD student and Adjunct Instructor in the Systems Science program at Portland State University. Shane is primarily interested in understanding the evolutionary processes underlying change in social systems. He makes use of agent based modeling techniques to explore the dynamics of large scale social structures, with the hope of eventually informing a comprehensive and consistent theory of the development of societies.


Artificial life – Computer simulation, Cybernetics, Evolution -- Mathematical models, Creative ability in technology, System theory, Biological systems -- Computer simulation, Biological systems -- Simulation methods, Computers -- Intelligence (ai) & Semantics, Genetic algorithms, Evolutionary computation, Genetic programming (Computer science)


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Open Ended Evolution in Artificial Life