We hypothesise that degeneracy in the components of an artificial chemistry (AChem) facilitates the complexity of the system as a whole. We introduce definitions of degeneracy and redundancy, and show how these quantities can be calculated for the binding system of an AChem.
We present a case study using the AChem Stringmol, in order to support our hypothesis. We demonstrate that the binding system in Stringmol has degeneracy and we create a deliberately poor variant: 'sticky-Stringmol', that has a binding system with no degeneracy. Comparing sticky-Stringmol to Stringmol, we note the loss of many simulation artifacts that have been used as evidence of the complexity of Stringmol, including: emergent macro-mutations, hypercycles, sweeps and parasite evasion. These results are evidence that degeneracy in the components of an AChem facilitates the complexity of the system as a whole.
@inproceedings(SS-ECAL11-99, author = "Ed Clark and Adam Nellis and Simon Hickinbotham and Susan Stepney and Tim Clarke and Mungo Pay and Peter Young", title = "Degeneracy Enriches Artificial Chemistry Binding Systems", pages = "133-140", crossref = "ECAL11" ) @proceedings(ECAL11, title = "ECAL 2011, Paris, France, August 2011", booktitle = "ECAL 2011, Paris, France, August 2011", publisher = "MIT Press", year = 2011 )