Punctuated equilibrium and criticality in a simple model of evolution

Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 4083 – Published 13 December 1993
Per Bak and Kim Sneppen


A simple and robust model of biological evolution of an ecology of interacting species is introduced. The model self-organizes into a critical steady state with intermittent coevolutionary avalanches of all sizes; i.e., it exhibits ‘‘punctuated equilibrium’’ behavior. This collaborative evolution is much faster than non-cooperative scenarios since no large and coordinated, and hence prohibitively unlikely, mutations are involved.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.71.4083

  • Received 7 July 1993
  • Published in the issue dated 13 December 1993

© 1993 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Per Bak

  • Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973

Kim Sneppen

  • Niels Bohr Institute, Blegdamsvej 17, 2100 Copenhagen O/, Denmark

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