Mark Newman, Dietrich Stauffer

Paper #: 01-08-038

We study the simple evolutionary process in which we repeatedly find the least-fit agent in a population of agents and give it a new fitness which is chosen independently at random from a specified distribution. We show that many of the average properties of this process can be calculated exactly using analytic methods. In particular we find the distribution of fitnesses at arbitrary time, and the distribution of the lengths of runs of hits on the same agent, the latter being found to follow a power law with exponent -1, similar to the distribution of times between evolutionary events in the Bak-Sneppen model and models based on the so-called record dynamics. We confirm our analytic results with extensive numerical simulations.