Metanetworks of artificially evolved regulatory networks

Danacı B., Erzan A.

JOURNAL OF STATISTICAL MECHANICS-THEORY AND EXPERIMENT, 2016 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1088/1742-5468/2016/04/043501
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus


We study metanetworks arising in genotype and phenotype spaces, in the context of a model population of Boolean graphs evolved under selection for short dynamical attractors. We define the adjacency matrix of a graph as its genotype, which gets mutated in the course of evolution, while its phenotype is its set of dynamical attractors. Metanetworks in the genotype and phenotype spaces are formed, respectively, by genetic proximity and by phenotypic similarity, the latter weighted by the sizes of the basins of attraction of the shared attractors. We find that evolved populations of Boolean graphs form tree-like giant clusters in genotype space, while random populations of Boolean graphs are typically so far removed from each other genetically that they cannot form a metanetwork. In phenotype space, the metanetworks of evolved populations are super robust both under the elimination of weak connections and random removal of nodes.