A comparison of predator teams with distinct genetic similarity levels in single prey hunting problem

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2009

Student: Çağrı Yalçın

Principal Consultant (For Co-Consultant Theses): ONUR TOLGA ŞEHİTOĞLU


In the domain of the complex control problems for agents, neuroevolution, i.e. artificial evolution of neural networks, methods have been continuously shown to offer high performance solutions which may be unpredictable by external controller design. Recent studies have proved that these methods can also be successfully applied for cooperative multi-agent systems to evolve the desired team behavior. For a given task which may benefit from both cooperation and behavioral specialization, the genetic diversity of the team members may have important effects on the team performance. In this thesis, the single prey hunting problem is chosen as the case, where the performance of the evolved predator teams with distinct genetic similarity levels are systematically examined. For this purpose, three similarity levels, namely homogeneous, partially heterogeneous and heterogeneous, are adopted and analyzed in various problem-specific and algorithmic settings. Our similarity levels differ from each other in terms of the number of groups of identical agents in a single predator team, where identicalness of two agents refers to the fact that both have the same synaptic weight vector in their neural network controllers. On the other hand, the problem-specific conditions comprise three different fields of vision for predators, whereas algorithmic settings refer to varying number of individuals in the populations, as well as two different selection levels such as team and group levels. According to the experimental results within a simulated grid environment, we show that different genetic similarity level-field of vision-algorithmic setting combinations beget different performance results.