Monostable controllers for adaptive behaviour

Recent artificial neural networks for machine learning have exploited transient dynamics around globally stable attractors, inspired by the properties of cortical microcolumns. Here we explore whether similarly constrained neural network controllers can be exploited for embodied, situated adaptive behaviour. We demonstrate that it is possible to evolve globally stable neurocontrollers containing a single basin of attraction, which nevertheless sustain multiple modes of behaviour. This is achieved by exploiting interaction between environmental input and transient dynamics. We present results that suggest that this globally stable regime may constitute an evolvable and dynamically rich subset of recurrent neural network configurations, especially in larger networks. We discuss the issue of scalability and the possibility that there may be alternative adaptive behaviour tasks that are more ‘attractor hungry’.

Buckley, C., Fine, P. Bullock, S. and Di Paolo, E. A. (2008). Monostable controllers for adaptive behaviour. In From Animats to Animals 10, The Tenth International Conference on the Simulation of Adaptive Behavior, Osaka, Japan, July 7-10, 2008.

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