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Network growth for enhanced natural selection

  • Barbosa, Valmir C.
  • Donangelo, Raul
  • Souza, Sergio R.
Published Article
Publication Date
Dec 12, 2008
Submission Date
Dec 12, 2008
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.80.026115
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Natural selection and random drift are competing phenomena for explaining the evolution of populations. Combining a highly fit mutant with a population structure that improves the odds that the mutant spreads through the whole population tips the balance in favor of natural selection. The probability that the spread occurs, known as the fixation probability, depends heavily on how the population is structured. Certain topologies, albeit highly artificially contrived, have been shown to exist that favor fixation. We introduce a randomized mechanism for network growth that is loosely inspired in some of these topologies' key properties and demonstrate, through simulations, that it is capable of giving rise to structured populations for which the fixation probability significantly surpasses that of an unstructured population. This discovery provides important support to the notion that natural selection can be enhanced over random drift in naturally occurring population structures.

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