Rand Stats




Algorithm::DawkinsWeasel - An Illustration of Cumulative Selection


  use Algorithm::DawkinsWeasel;

  my $weasel = Algorithm::DawkinsWeasel.new(
    target-phrase      => 'METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL',
    mutation-threshold => 0.05,
    copies             => 100,

  for $weasel.evolution {
    say .count.fmt('%04d '), .current-phrase, ' [', .hi-score, ']';


Algorithm::DawkinsWeasel is a simple model illustrating the idea of cumulative selection in evolution.

The original form of it looked like this:

  1. Start with a random string of 28 characters.
  2. Make 100 copies of this string, with a 5% chance per character of that character being replaced with a random character.
  3. Compare each new string with "METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL", and give each a score (the number of letters in the string that are correct and in the correct position).
  4. If any of the new strings has a perfect score (== 28), halt.
  5. Otherwise, take the highest scoring string, and go to step 2

This module parametrizes the target string, mutation threshold, and number of copies per round.


With a normal rakudo installation, you should have available one or both of the installer tools:

zef is becoming the preferred tool because of more features (including an uninstall function) and more active development, but either tool should work fine for a first installation of a desired module. We'll use zef for the rest of the examples.

zef install Algorithm::DawkinsWeasel

If the attempt shows that the module isn't found or available, ensure your installer is current:

zef update

If you want to use the latest version in the git repository (or it's not available in the Perl 6 ecosystem), clone it and then install it from its local directory. Here we assume the module is on Github in location "https://github.com/jaldhar/Algorithm-DawkinsWeasel", but use the Github clone instructions for the desired module. (Note the repository name is usually not the exact name of the module as used in Perl 6.)

git clone https://github.com/jaldhar/Algorithm-DawkinsWeasel.git
cd /path/to/cloned/repository/directory
zef install .


Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar@braincells.com


Copyright (C) 2017, Consolidated Braincells Inc. All rights reserved.

This distribution is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of either:

a) the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option) any later version, or

b) the Artistic License version 2.0.

The full text of the license can be found in the LICENSE file included with this distribution.