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Title: Formal models of reproduction : from computer viruses to artificial life
Author: Webster, Matthew Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 2673 319X
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2008
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In this thesis we describe novel approaches to the formal description of systems which reproduce, and show that the resulting models have explanatory power and practical applications, particularly in the domain of computer virology. We start by generating a formal description of computer viruses based on formal methods and notations developed for software engineering. We then prove that our model can be used to detect metamorphic computer viruses, which are designed specifically to avoid well-established signature-based detection methods. Next, we move away from the specific case of reproducing programs, and consider formal models of reproducing things in general. We show that we can develop formal models of the ecology of a reproducer, based on a formalisation of Gibson's theory of affordances.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available