How Creative Should Creators Be To Optimize the Evolution of Ideas? A Computational Model

Stefan Leijnen
Liane Gabora

There are both benefits and drawbacks to creativity. In a social group it is not necessary for all members to be creative to benefit from creativity; some merely imitate or enjoy the fruits of others' creative efforts. What proportion should be creative? This paper contains a very preliminary investigation of this question carried out using a computer model of cultural evolution referred to as EVOC (for EVOlution of Culture). EVOC is composed of neural network based agents that evolve fitter ideas for actions by (1) inventing new ideas through modification of existing ones, and (2) imitating neighbors' ideas. The ideal proportion with respect to fitness of ideas occurs when thirty to forty percent of the individuals is creative. When creators are inventing 50% of iterations or less, mean fitness of actions in the society is a positive function of the ratio of creators to imitators; otherwise mean fitness of actions starts to drop when the ratio of creators to imitators exceeds approximately 30%. For all levels or creativity, the diversity of ideas in a population is positively correlated with the ratio of creative agents.

In S. Barry Cooper and Vincent Danos: Proceedings Fifth Workshop on Developments in Computational Models — Computational Models From Nature (DCM 2009), Rhodes, Greece, 11th July 2009, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 9, pp. 108–119.
Published: 15th November 2009.

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