Evolving Neuromodulated Controllers in Variable Environments

Chloe M Barnes, Anikó Ekárt, Kai Olav Ellefsen, Kyrre Glette, Peter R Lewis, Jim Tørresen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Modern technical systems are increasingly composed of heterogeneous components that are situated in variable environments. In nature, organisms can temporarily adapt their behaviour to novel stimuli with behavioural plasticity; this can be achieved with neuromodulation, a biological process that modulates synaptic activity in the brain. We explore how neuromodulation affects goal-achievement in evolved neural controllers for artificial agents in variable environments. As variability can arise from the actions of others, we show that the benefit of plasticity can increase with variability, as agents can temporarily change their phenotype within their lifetime. Further, we show that cooperation can emerge between plastic agents that cannot perceive one another in highly variable environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 IEEE International Conference on Autonomic Computing and Self-Organizing Systems (ACSOS)
EditorsEsam El-Araby, Vana Kalogeraki, Danilo Pianini, Frederic Lassabe, Barry Porter, Sona Ghahremani, Ingrid Nunes, Mohamed Bakhouya, Sven Tomforde
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6654-1261-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-2940-5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2022


  • Evolution (biology)
  • Animals
  • Conferences
  • Biological processes
  • Rivers
  • Complexity theory
  • Plastics
  • neuromodulation
  • neuroevolution
  • evolutionary-algorithms
  • environmental-variability
  • behavioural-plasticity


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolving Neuromodulated Controllers in Variable Environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this