Success and failure in adaptation
Last modified: May 30, 2006
Adaptation is a powerful mechanism displayed in many forms by living systems. It underpins evolution of species, animal learning, the development of culture, the response of the immune system and human problemsolving to name a few. It can also fail in many ways, as in species extinction, the development of phobias, or premature convergence on poor solutions. In order to effectively exploit the principles of adaptation to better handle complex decisions and problems we need to understand the conditions and factors for success and failure of adaptation mechanisms. We will discuss some observations and insights about what those conditions and factors are in the context of our conceptual framework for adaptation, and propose some research directions to further develop our understanding.