A center-crossing recurrent neural network is one in which the null-(hyper)surfaces of each neuron intersect at their exact centers of symmetry, ensuring that each neuron’s activation function is centered over the range of net inputs that it receives. We demonstrate that relative to a random initial population, seeding the initial population of an evolutionary search with center-crossing networks significantly improves both the frequency and the speed with which high-fitness oscillatory circuits evolve on a simple walking task. The improvement is especially striking at low mutation variances. Our results suggest that seeding with center-crossing networks may often be beneficial, since a wider range of dynamics is more likely to be easily accessible from a population of center-crossing networks than from a population of random networks.
Mathayomchan, B. and Beer, R.D. (2002). Center-crossing recurrent neural networks for the evolution of rhythmic behavior. Neural Computation 14:2043-2051.