and its application to art and design
by Craig Reynolds
Evolutionary Computation is the general term for several
computational techniques which are based to some degree on the
biological life in the natural world.
My work in evolutionary computation has related to evolution of
behavior. I've used evolutionary systems to create behavior control
programs for artificial agents. These evolved behavior relate to
around a simulated environment. In particular I've experimented with corridor following where evolution
determines both a sensor morphology and a mapping from sensor output to
steering signal. I've also experimented with evolution of players for the game of tag where fitness is
solely on competition.
The most widely used form of evolutionary computation are Genetic Algorithms. In my work
used the Genetic
technique which allows the evolution of executable programs. (See also:
online interactive /
visual art /
general EC resources /
- Evolution of motion
I'm especially interested in the use of
evolutionary techniques to discover controllers for animated motion of
- Karl Sims has
evolved delightful virtual
creatures based on their locomotion skills, and through coevolution
created others that play a certain wrestling game. In Karl's work both
behavior and the morphology (body structure) of the creatures are
animation. (See also: this mirror
of Karl's original FTP site at think.com, and pages about Karl's work
at Biota and by
Linda Moss, Tom
Holtzman and the DeCordova
- Larry Gritz (old) used Genetic
Programming to generate controllers for the animation of physically
based articulated figures, such as a jumping desk lamp and a three
segment arm. (See Genetic
Programming for Articulated Figure Motion and Genetic
Programming Evolution of Controllers for 3-D Character Animation)
Cliff and Geoffrey
F. Miller have evolved neural networks for control of pursuit and
evasion through coevolution.
- Tom Ngo, Joe Marks, et al.
used Genetic Algorithms to generate controllers for locomotion of 2d
and 3d articulated figures, see these animations.
Novel Fighter Combat Rules with Genetics-Based Machine Learning
(slides from a presentation) by Robert E. Smith. See
Systems In Combat: Two-Sided Learning of Maneuvers For Advanced Fighter
Aircraft by Smith, Dike, Mehra, Ravichandran, and El-Fallah. And
note: Application of Genetic Algorithms to Air Combat Maneuvering
by Bruce A. Dike and Robert E. Smith, not available online, but see the
- Peter Murphy did his
MSc project on using a Genetic Algorithm to evolve control curves
for physically based 4 segment arm to throw a ball at a target.
- Jonathan Gibbs
worked on inverse
kinematics for physically-based articulated figures using Genetic
- David Browne
is doing research on the
coevolution of obstacle-avoiding steering agents versus
obstacle-creating drawing agents.
- Simon Raik
has evolved a controller
for a spaceship in a version of Asteroids.
- Sean Luke et
al. produced a team of competitors for the RoboCup competition in Co-evolving
Soccer Softbots With Genetic Programming. See also this paper.
- Jeffrey Ventrella has
created several varieties of evolved virtual creatures, most recently
Evolution by Luigi
Pagliarini et al.
Towards an Artificial Pet interactive evolution of neural nets to
control Lego robots, by Lund,
Billard, Ijspeert, Miglino, and Pagliarini.
See also Toybots.
Evolving Collective Behaviours in Synthetic Fish by Nahum Zaera, Dave Cliff,
Bruten. Published in From
Animals to Animats 4 (SAB96.
- Framsticks evolution
of 3d physically-based creatures.
Genetic Programming Methodology for Strategy Optimization Under
Uncertainty and A
Genetic Programming Approach to Strategy Optimization in the Extended
Two-Dimensional Pursuer/Evader Problem by
Frank W. Moore and Oscar N.
from Albia (an article from New Scientist) describes evolution of norns
(CyberLife's Creatures) as pilots of
jet fighters engaged in aerial combat.
- Evolution of shape:
Evolutionary Design by Peter
Bentley, see also the abstract
of his Ph.D. thesis, and this excellent survey with examples: Aspects
of Evolutionary Design by Computers
Funes and Jordan
Pollack evolve Lego structures in
Computer Evolution of Buildable Objects
- Two 1977 papers:
Voxel Based Approach To Evolutionary Shape Optimisation and
...Optimisation of a Simplified Beam... by Baron, P., Fisher, R.,
Mill, F., Sherlock, A., and Tuson, A.L.
of Edinburgh University.
Algorithm Optimisation of Strain Gauge Load Cells and Evolutionary
Optimization Applied to Wing Conceptual Design by Gordon Robinson
A Genetic Algorithm for a Three-Dimensional Non-Convex Bin
Evolution of Implicit Surfaces: An Application of Genetic Programming,
a Technical Sketch presented at SIGGRAPH 98 by Ted Bedwell.
Flywheel Design a project to select the materials and shape of a
flywheel to maximize energy storage, at MSU's GARAGe
L-System Programming a 1994 paper by Christian Jacob,
from Parallel Problem Solving from Nature III, on evolution of L-Systems
(synthetic botanical plant shapes) using Genetic Programming.
- NetSpinner by Thiemo
Fritz Vollrath models the emergence of web-spinning by spiders
based on simple local rules. The rule sets are organized and tuned with
a genetic algorithm. See also
Behaviour: Spiders on a Virtual Web, Emergent
properties in the behaviour of a virtual spider robot (in Proceedings of the Royal Society) and Biological Concepts
for Adaptive and Distributed Algorithms.
Approximation Concepts With Genetic Algorithm-Based Structural
Optimization Procedures by Nair, Keane and Shimpi: examines the
optimal design of a 10 bar truss structure.
Shape Optimization Utilizing a Learning Classifier System (1995) by
Robert Richards: 2D
and 3D shapes optimized according to mechanical criteria using a learning
classifier system, a type of GA which evolves sets of rules.
generation of form using an evolutionary approach by Michael Rosenman (see
also the 1997 paper) and
Hierarchical Evolutionary Approach to the Generation of Form which
presents an evolutionary approach to design using a hierarchical
decomposition/aggregation growth model for architectual applications.
Algorithms In Engineering Applications edited by: Dipankar Dasgupta
Algorithms in Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Sussex
optimization by GA from the
Proceedings of the Second Nordic Workshop on Genetic Algorithms and
- Online interactive evolution
Here are some participatory, Web-based art projects which use
computation. Web users vote on the comparative esthetic value of
choices (images or sounds). These votes determine the fitness of the
individuals which drives the composition of subsequent generation.
III by John Mount
very nice Java
implementation of interactive evolution of images based on esthetic
It can be used from any web browser, and the Java source is provided.
geneticArt III is based on 1994 work by John Mount, Scott
Reilly and Michael Witbrock.
The pioneering, innovative International Interactive Genetic Art I
were long time favorites of mine, but are now sadly lost to the mists of time.
Generating Music From Grammars, An Experiment in Genetic
Programming by Jeff Putnam
(jefu). Also available
as a Java application (not applet).
uses an interactive GA to evolve attractive human faces.
art at Absolut
about Kevin Kelly's
book Out of
mutation of IFS fractals by Henry
of Color and Shape by Christian Niss
Müller is a Java applet that uses a simple mutation scheme to
demonstrate interactive evolution of a colored polygonal shape.
- Cybertation a
Windows application to breed and mutate rendered 3-D models, from
Notting Hill Studio.
by Tatsuo Unemi
a design support tool to create interesting 2D images based on
artificial selection, based on the work of Karl Sims.
Web-Sculpture by Bernd
Lintermann, see also this
for Visual Genetic Programming with the user providing esthetic
selection, described in this
evolution of RenderMan shaders (procedural models of the
appearance of 3d surfaces) by Aladin Ibrahim.
- TRON a
evolves strategies to play the lightcycle game as depicted in
evolving players are pitted again human players over the Web. See the
Animal-Animat Coevolution: Using the Animal Population as Fitness
FACE-IT project by L. Pagliarini
and D. Parisi. Includes an interactive
demo movies and articles.
Andreas Geyer-Schulz from his Genetic
Charlie Frowd is an evolutionary identikit similar to
used by police to help construct a facial image based on a witnesses
- CambrianArt by Mattias
Fagerlund allows you to breed and archive genetic images.
- Selection3D (2001) by Markus
Holenstein allows web site visitors to use aesthetic selection to
the evolution of animated 3d shapes. The shapes are collections of
tubes ("hot dog" shape). Evolution requires Java 2 Runtime Environment
Java3D (not available for all platforms) but the site includes a
still and animated images.
- I guess with evolution comes extinction, each of these cool
sites have disappeared from the web since they were listed here:
- Evolution of visual art:
Images (1993) by Karl Sims,
as described in his 1991 paper Artificial
Evolution for Computer Graphics, see also Galápagos
Selection a description by Tom
Ray of the early image evolution work of Karl Sims.
- Computer Artworks, Ltd.
the work of William Latham. Note especially the link for Organic Art
Line Drawings (1994) by
Ellie Baker and Margo Seltzer, in Graphics Interface '94
- Henrik Hautop Lund
an art installation featuring real-time interactive between people and
evolutionary creatures, by Christa Sommerer and
Links of Digital Evolution an article about art inspired by
evolutionary and genetic themes.
- Evolutionary Art
of Mattias Fagerlund
of Pseudo-colouring Algorithms for Image Enhancement with
Interactive Genetic Programming (compressed
Postscript file) by Riccardo Poli and Stefano Cagnoni,
Birmingham EEBIC group Technical Report CSRP-97-5, 1997.
- A nice Java-based
Biomorph program (after Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker) on
an ALife site sponsored by the
folks at Twleve Point Rule.
Graphic Control over Human Face and Head Appearance, Genetic
Optimisation of Perceptual Characteristics (PhD thesis,
Duncan Rowland, includes the use of genetic algorithms to control
the appearance of 3-D computer graphics objects and to investigate
aesthetic preference for 3-D facial surfaces.
- The evolutionary
art of Steven Rook a large site containing art sample and technical
details of Rook's aesthetic evolution of algorithmic images.
Programming, Genetic Art: Dr. Mutatis by Ken Musgrave provides Karl Sims-like evolution of
images using esthetic selection.
Yoshiaki (Stone) has a nice freeware Macintosh application for
interactive evolution of Genetic Fractal
using GP, see these sample
- Copy Cat
(evolution of mimicry) and Pattern
Evolver (evolution of dither patterns) by Keith Wiley
Art by Peter Kleiweg
based on genetic programming approach using the PostScript language.
Code is available for download.
- Evolution of music:
- General EC resources:
A Joint Meeting of the Eighth International Conference on Genetic
Algorithms (ICGA-99) and the Fourth Annual Genetic Programming
- ECAL'99 5th
European Conference on Artificial Life
- Artificial Life
Second European Workshop on Genetic Programming
First European Workshop on Evolutionary Computation in Image Analysis
and Signal Processing
- Symposium on Creative
Evolutionary Systems (see
program) April 1999
- Related surveys of evolutionary and
online interactive /
visual art /
general EC resources /
Send comments to Craig Reynolds
Last update: June 27, 2002 (August
31, 2008: updated links to Karl Sims but remainer of page is stale)