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Morpho-evolution with learning using a controller archive as an inheritance mechanism

Le Goff, Léni K., Buchanan, Edgar, Hart, Emma, Eiben, Agoston E., Li, Wei, De Carlo, Matteo, Winfield, Alan F., Hale, Matthew F., Wooley, Robert, Angus, Mike, Timmis, Jonathan and Tyrrell, Andy M. (2022) Morpho-evolution with learning using a controller archive as an inheritance mechanism. IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems. ISSN 2379-8939

Item Type: Article


Most work in evolutionary robotics centres on evolving a controller for a fixed body-plan. However, previous studiessuggest that simultaneously evolving both controller and body-plan could open up many interesting possibilities. However, thejoint optimisation of body-plan and control via evolutionaryprocesses can be challenging in rich morphological spaces. Thisis because offspring can have body-plans that are very differentfrom either of their parents, leading to a potential mismatchbetween the structure of an inherited neural controller and thenew body. To address this, we propose a framework that combinesan evolutionary algorithm to generate body-plans and a learning algorithm to optimise the parameters of a neural controller. The topology of this controller is created once the body-plan of each offspring has been generated. The key novelty of the approach is to add an external archive for storing learned controllers that map to explicit ‘types’ of robots (where this is defined with respect to the features of the body-plan). By initiating learning froma controller with an appropriate structure inherited from thearchive, rather than from a randomly initialised one, we show that both the speed and magnitude of learning increases over time when compared to an approach that starts from scratch, using two tasks and three environments. The framework also provides new insights into the complex interactions between evolution and learning

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Depositing User: Jonathan Timmis


Item ID: 14528
Identification Number:
ISSN: 2379-8939
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Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Léni K. Le Goff: ORCID iD
ORCID for Edgar Buchanan: ORCID iD
ORCID for Agoston E. Eiben: ORCID iD
ORCID for Matteo De Carlo: ORCID iD
ORCID for Alan F. Winfield: ORCID iD
ORCID for Jonathan Timmis: ORCID iD
ORCID for Andy M. Tyrrell: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2022 12:54
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2024 03:38


Author: Léni K. Le Goff ORCID iD
Author: Edgar Buchanan ORCID iD
Author: Agoston E. Eiben ORCID iD
Author: Matteo De Carlo ORCID iD
Author: Alan F. Winfield ORCID iD
Author: Jonathan Timmis ORCID iD
Author: Andy M. Tyrrell ORCID iD
Author: Emma Hart
Author: Wei Li
Author: Matthew F. Hale
Author: Robert Wooley
Author: Mike Angus

University Divisions

Faculty of Technology > School of Computer Science


Computing > Artificial Intelligence

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