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/meem/ [By analogy with "gene"] Richard Dawkins's term for an idea considered as a replicator, especially with the connotation that memes parasitise people into propagating them much as viruses do.

Memes can be considered the unit of cultural evolution. Ideas can evolve in a way analogous to biological evolution. Some ideas survive better than others; ideas can mutate through, for example, misunderstandings; and two ideas can recombine to produce a new idea involving elements of each parent idea.

The term is used especially in the phrase "meme complex" denoting a group of mutually supporting memes that form an organised belief system, such as a religion. However, "meme" is often misused to mean "meme complex".

Use of the term connotes acceptance of the idea that in humans (and presumably other tool- and language-using sophonts) cultural evolution by selection of adaptive ideas has become more important than biological evolution by selection of hereditary traits. Hackers find this idea congenial for tolerably obvious reasons.

See also memetic algorithm.


(Pronounced "meem") A trend, belief, fashion or phrase that is passed from generation to generation through imitation and behavioral replication. Coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book "The Selfish Gene," memes and memetics are the cultural counterpart to the biological study of genes and genetics. Using the evolution analogy, Dawkins observed that human cultures evolve via "contagious" communications in a manner similar to the gene pool of populations over time. See Internet meme.
References in periodicals archive ?
137) There is disagreement within the memetics literature as to what more one can say about memes and the degree to which they possess the properties of evolving organisms or map onto existing social scientific understandings of diffusion of practices, beliefs, and other cultural artifacts.
Hao, "A multilevel memetic approach for improving graph k-partitions," IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, vol.
Marinakis, "A hybridization of clonal selection algorithm with iterated local search and variable neighborhood search for the feature selection problem," Memetic Computing, vol.
Jiang, "A memetic algorithm for the open capacitated arc routing problem," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, vol.
Yao, "Decomposition-Based Memetic Algorithm for Multi-objective Capacitated Arc Routing Problem," IEEE Trans.
Second, hybrid evolutionary algorithms that are commonly known as Memetic Algorithms (MAs) or genetic local search [23-25] are used.
Integrated supply chain, Logistics network design, Random path-based direct encoding, Memetic algorithm.
Solving a step fixed charge transporation problem by a spanning tree-based memetic algorithm, International Journal of Mathematical Modelling & Computations, 04(02): 181-191.
8] proposed a memetic algorithm-based approach in which a hill-climbing-based local search tactic was suggested for improving the search performance of the algorithm.
A hybridization of evolutionary algorithms, known as memetic algorithms, inspired by cultural evolution was first proposed in [22].
It can be classified in two ways - as an evolutionary algorithm or as a so-called memetic algorithm.