The core principles of the evolutionary theories of emotions declare that affective states represent crucial drives for action selection in the environment and regulated the behavior and adaptation of natural agents in ancestrally recurrent situations. While many different studies used autonomous artificial agents to simulate emotional responses and the way these patterns can affect decision-making, few are the approaches that tried to analyze the evolutionary emergence of affective behaviors directly from the specific adaptive problems posed by the ancestral environment. A model of the evolution of affective behaviors is presented using simulated artificial agents equipped with neural networks and physically inspired on the architecture of the iCub humanoid robot. We use genetic algorithms to train populations of virtual robots across generations, and investigate the spontaneous emergence of basic emotional behaviors in different experimental conditions. In particular, we focus on studying the emotion of fear, therefore the environment explored by the artificial agents can contain stimuli that are safe or dangerous to pick. The simulated task is based on classical conditioning and the agents are asked to learn a strategy to recognize whether the environment is safe or represents a threat to their lives and select the correct action to perform in absence of any visual cues. The simulated agents have special input units in their neural structure whose activation keep track of their actual “sensations” based on the outcome of past behavior. We train five different neural network architectures and then test the best ranked individuals comparing their performances and analyzing the unit activations in each individual’s life cycle. We show that the agents, regardless of the presence of recurrent connections, spontaneously evolved the ability to cope with potentially dangerous environment by collecting information about the environment and then switching their behavior to a genetically selected pattern in order to maximize the possible reward. We also prove the determinant presence of an internal time perception unit for the robots to achieve the highest performance and survivability across all conditions.

Basic emotions and adaptation. A computational and evolutionary model

Pacella, Daniela
;
Ponticorvo, Michela;Gigliotta, Onofrio;Miglino, Orazio
2017

Abstract

The core principles of the evolutionary theories of emotions declare that affective states represent crucial drives for action selection in the environment and regulated the behavior and adaptation of natural agents in ancestrally recurrent situations. While many different studies used autonomous artificial agents to simulate emotional responses and the way these patterns can affect decision-making, few are the approaches that tried to analyze the evolutionary emergence of affective behaviors directly from the specific adaptive problems posed by the ancestral environment. A model of the evolution of affective behaviors is presented using simulated artificial agents equipped with neural networks and physically inspired on the architecture of the iCub humanoid robot. We use genetic algorithms to train populations of virtual robots across generations, and investigate the spontaneous emergence of basic emotional behaviors in different experimental conditions. In particular, we focus on studying the emotion of fear, therefore the environment explored by the artificial agents can contain stimuli that are safe or dangerous to pick. The simulated task is based on classical conditioning and the agents are asked to learn a strategy to recognize whether the environment is safe or represents a threat to their lives and select the correct action to perform in absence of any visual cues. The simulated agents have special input units in their neural structure whose activation keep track of their actual “sensations” based on the outcome of past behavior. We train five different neural network architectures and then test the best ranked individuals comparing their performances and analyzing the unit activations in each individual’s life cycle. We show that the agents, regardless of the presence of recurrent connections, spontaneously evolved the ability to cope with potentially dangerous environment by collecting information about the environment and then switching their behavior to a genetically selected pattern in order to maximize the possible reward. We also prove the determinant presence of an internal time perception unit for the robots to achieve the highest performance and survivability across all conditions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/712979
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