Multi-objective strategies for exploring form and function in crustaceans

Claudia Szabo, Jayden Barnes, Pablo Munguia

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In biology, there is a direct and dynamic relationship between an individual's form, in terms of shape, size, number and connection of limbs, and the functions that the individual can perform, such as temperature regulation, movement, and reproduction. These relationships influence the biological diversity of existing and extinct species, and there is a critical need for biologists to further understand them. The analysis of the interplay between form, function, and environmental constraints on current species is a challenging task. The problem is difficult to formalize due to the many form and function models that need to be encoded, requiring real data for their definition. However, current research focuses on understanding how forms of imagined species can evolve to achieve optimal functions, without using real data to encode species diversity and functions. In this paper, we present an approach to study the interplay between form and function. Using real-life data collected from field experiments, our multi-objective optimization framework allows for the definition of various functions, including swimming speed, reproduction potential, and an organism's morphology. As an example, we employ our approach to determine the optimal forms for maximum swimming speed and reproduction potential in a group of marine amphipods.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2018 Conference on Artificial Life: Beyond AI, ALIFE 2018 - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 23 Jul 201827 Jul 2018


Conference2018 Conference on Artificial Life: Beyond AI, ALIFE 2018


  • crustacean
  • biological form
  • biological function
  • marine amphipods
  • swimming speed
  • reproduction


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