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Avida (Digital Life Laboratory )




Sat Jan 8 17:03:38 2005 Avida (Digital Life Laboratory )
Posted by Tony Lawrence
Referencing: http://dllab.caltech.edu/avida/

I came across this in the latest issue of Discover - a fascinating article; I really suggest picking this up if you are interested in evolutionary theory.

The link for the Mac version seems to be broken. I did download the Windows version (hint - click on QT-Viewer to run it once you've unpacked it), but I wanted something much simpler to play with.

So (of course) I wanted to write my own little piece of digital life. The basic idea is simple:


$generation=0;
$alive{'abcdefg'}="0";
$alive{'gfedcba'}="0";
$goal="Goal";
while (1) {
  score();
  print "Mating..\n";
  mate();
  killweak();
  $generation++;
  show();
  print "Generation $generation ------\n";
}
 

The score() assigns points to the string based on many times it contains $goal or part therof, mate() creates new strings from old with random mutations, killweak() takes the lowest scores out of the population, and we repeat. Sounds simple, and very quickly I had code that was driving toward the goal. But then somewhere I introduced some bug that has my generations getting stuck in infinite loops, so I'm still hacking at that. Fun way to spend a rainy Saturday. I'll share when I get it working.




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---January 27, 2005

hey, I read that artical too, and like you I just had to see the program. Its fun but I haven't quite figured it out completly yet.I've been tring to set up my own experiments, with a lack of sucess. I think this is the next big step/test for evolutionary theroy. I read on Dr. pennock's website( www.msu.edu/~pennock5/research/Avida-ED.htm) that he want's to use Avida for educational use in the class room.that would be great.thanks for posting

-Corey Hooker
([email protected])




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