Latino Studies at New York University

Justin Jee

Computational Biology PhD Student
New York University

March 12, 2013

What can signaling games tell us about evolution, from the RNA world to the present?

In information-asymmetric (signaling) games in which utility is determined by the message complexity (rate) in addition to the error resilience in information transfer (distortion), it is possible for the agents to evolve a signaling convention that is suboptimal in terms of information transfer, but is nonetheless stable. A particularly interesting scenario in which such a game may have been encountered is the evolution of the genetic code, which is nearly optimal in terms of information transfer, but is also universal and nearly immutable. I will discuss what these signaling dynamics might imply about the RNA world. In addition, I will discuss how such evolutionary processes may persist today, such as in the evolution of ideas in books and newspapers.