Selfish vs. Global Behavior Promotion in Car Controller Evolution

posted Apr 12, 2018, 1:46 AM by Eric Medvet   [ updated Apr 12, 2018, 1:47 AM ]
  • 1st GECCO Workshop on Decomposition Techniques in Evolutionary Optimization (DTEO), 2018, Kyoto (Japan), to appear
  • Jacopo Talamini, Giovanni Scaini, Eric Medvet, Alberto Bartoli
We consider collective tasks to be solved by simple agents synthesized automatically by means of neuroevolution. We investigate whether driving neuroevolution by promoting a form of selfish behavior, i.e., by optimizing a fitness index that synthesizes the behavior of each agent independent of any other agent, may also result in optimizing global, system-wide properties. We focus  on a specific and challenging task, i.e., evolutionary synthesis of agent as car controller for a road traffic scenario. Based on an extensive simulation-based analysis, our results indicate that even by optimizing the behavior of each single agent, the resulting system-wide performance is comparable to the performance resulting from optimizing the behavior of the system as a whole. Furthermore, agents evolved with a fitness promoting selfish behavior appear to lead to a system that is globally more robust with respect to the presence of unskilled agents.