Dynamics of Competition using a Bit String Model with Age Structure and Mutations
Using Monte Carlo simulations and analytic methods, we examine the dynamics of inter-species competition using the Penna bit-string model. We begin with a study of the steady state with a single species, then proceed to the dynamics of competition between two species. When the species are not evenly matched in fitness, a simple differential equation provides a satisfactory model of the behavior of the system. However, when the species are equally fit, we show that a model, originally proposed to describe population genetics [Fisher,Wright], is required. When mutations are allowed between the competing species, the dynamics becomes more interesting. The mutation rate becomes a parameter that dictates the steady state behavior. If the two species are not equally fit, the value of the mutation rate determines whether the longer-lived or faster reproducing species is favored. With two species that are equally fit, the steady state varies with mutation rate from a single peaked to a double peaked distribution. This behavior is shown to be well described by an extension to the Fisher-Wright model mentioned above. Finally, we describe the preliminary results of a few new lines of investigation, and suggest ideas for further study of the dynamics of this model.