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Entropy 2013, 15(5), 1887-1915; doi:10.3390/e15051887

Quantifying Morphological Computation

1,*  and 1,2
1 Information Theory of Cognitive Systems, Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Inselstrasse 22, 04103 Leipzig, Saxony, Germany 2 Santa Fe Institute, 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 March 2013 / Revised: 23 April 2013 / Accepted: 9 May 2013 / Published: 21 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Information Bottleneck Method)
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The field of embodied intelligence emphasises the importance of the morphology and environment with respect to the behaviour of a cognitive system. The contribution of the morphology to the behaviour, commonly known as morphological computation, is well-recognised in this community. We believe that the field would benefit from a formalisation of this concept as we would like to ask how much the morphology and the environment contribute to an embodied agent’s behaviour, or how an embodied agent can maximise the exploitation of its morphology within its environment. In this work we derive two concepts of measuring morphological computation, and we discuss their relation to the Information Bottleneck Method. The first concepts asks how much the world contributes to the overall behaviour and the second concept asks how much the agent’s action contributes to a behaviour. Various measures are derived from the concepts and validated in two experiments that highlight their strengths and weaknesses.
Keywords: information bottleneck method; embodied artificial intelligence; morphological computation; information theory; sensori-motor loop information bottleneck method; embodied artificial intelligence; morphological computation; information theory; sensori-motor loop
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Zahedi, K.; Ay, N. Quantifying Morphological Computation. Entropy 2013, 15, 1887-1915.

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