Growth-based morphological development: a natural approach to fitness landscape shaping

Martin Naya, Andres Faina, Richard Duro

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In nature, the morphological changes that occur as cognitive development takes place in human beings and animals have been shown to facilitate learning. Taking inspiration from nature, morphological development aimed at improving learning has been applied in the literature to different robotics configurations and tasks with mixed results. In this paper, we consider a growth-based morphological development approach applied to a quadruped walking task, and, in addition to determining that it improves the learning characteristics, we show that morphological development is something other than just introducing noise as a fitness landscape smoothing technique. Finally, by means of a study of the evolution of the different fitness landscapes, we argue and discuss that learning using growth is equivalent to an incremental learning or fitness landscape shaping approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference Companion
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2022
ISBN (Electronic)9781450392686
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventGECCO '22: Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference - Boston, United States
Duration: 9 Jul 202213 Jul 2022


ConferenceGECCO '22: Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Morphological Development
  • Cognitive Development
  • Quadruped Robotics
  • Fitness Landscape
  • Incremental Learning


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