The evolution of division of labor

Goldsby HJ
Knoester DB
Clune J
McKinley PK
Ofria C

We use digital evolution to study the division of labor among heterogeneous organisms under multiple levels of selection. Although division of labor is practiced by many social organisms, the labor roles are typically associated with different individual fitness effects. This fitness variation raises the question of why an individual organism would select a less desirable role. For this study, we provide organisms with varying rewards for labor roles and impose a group-level pressure for division of labor. We demonstrate that a group selection pressure acting on a heterogeneous population is sufficient to ensure role diversity regardless of individual selection pressures, be they beneficial or detrimental.

Pub. Info: 
Proceedings of the European Conference on Artificial Life. Vol. 2: 10-18

title={The evolution of division of labor},
author={Goldsby, Heather J and Knoester, David B and Clune, Jeff and McKinley, Philip K and Ofria, Charles},
booktitle={Advances in Artificial Life. Darwin Meets von Neumann},