I400/I590 Artificial Life as an approach to Artificial Intelligence


Some previous student projects


2005 – Spring


Pu Wen (Bruce) Chang

"Emergence and Artificial Life" paper.

Chris Hemmerich

"Pusher", Python code that attempts to evolve cooperative behavior among agents whose fitness is determined by their ability to push blocks in the environment.

Eric Dimperio

Experiments in the use of Genetic Algorithms to evolve neural networks capable of recognizing and encoding numerosity.

Erik Pukinskis

"Increasing Complexity in Artificial Life Systems", a paper discussing the nature of complexity and the methods one might use to evoke it.

Heather Roinestadt

"Collective Intelligence and Artificial Swarms", a paper discussing swam intelligence.

Justin Post & Teresa Pegors

Measuring neural complexity in Polyworld using Olaf Sporns's methods in MATLAB.

Matt Ira

Added light sensors to Goofy Giggles robots and implemented software to wire up different Braitenberg vehicles and demonstrate their behavior, using the robots.

Matt Kane

Experiments with NetLogo-based swarms.

Matt Liggett

Experiment using Breve to evolve 2D fighting/grabbing behaviors, akin to Karl Sims's 3D fighting/grabbing behaviors.

P. Brian Dils

PHP and HTML code to evolve user interface elements based on users interactions with web pages.

Ryan Varick

Experiment using analog computer to control artificial life agents in a virtual world.

Will Dyar

"The Role of Lower Animals in Understanding Human Intelligence" paper.



2005 – Fall


Giancarlo Schrementi

Experiment, written in C, to explore the evolution of communication and language amongst artificial agents that must consume edible mushrooms and avoid poisonous mushrooms.

J. Duncan

Experiment, written in Java, attempting to expand on Parisi, Nolfi, and CecconiÕs work on the effects of non-inherited learning on fitness.

John Burgoon

"Visualization of Neural Network Data", paper summarizing series of efforts at visualizing neural network data from Polyworld agents.

Josh Walgenbach

"Infinite Monkeys", experiment attempting to evolve optimized code using Avida.

Matt Whitehead

Experiment, using Python and the Unreal game engine, to evolve bots able to compete favorably with human-scripted bots in Unreal Tournament.

Mike Beyer

Experiment, using NetLogo, looking at predator-prey Lotka-Volterra cycles.

Nick Gentile

Experiment, using OpenSteer (C++), evolving virtual soccer players.

Paul McDonald

"Growing Intelligence: A Look at Intelligence as an Emergent Phenomenon" paper.

Virgil Griffith

Experiments in collaboration with Doyne Farmer of SFI, examining the different parameter regimes and the viability of complex self-replicating machines

Weimao Ke

"Collective Learning Agents:  Studying the Effectiveness of Learning in Distributed Information Retrieval" paper.



2007 – Spring


David Rastall

Parallel simulated and robotic Braitenberg vehicles, evolving controllers virtually and applying them in physical robots.

Drew Hendrickson

Attempted to modify Sims-like "blocky creature" simulator from Miconi and Channon to support coupled oscillators.

Jeremy Teasdale

Used Average Mutual Information (a substitute for complexity) as a fitness function to evolve Cellular Automata.

Joshua Mann

Started a project to evolve foraging agents in Flash ActionScript.

Matt Zurschmeide

Developed a NetLogo simulation to investigate the influence of predator characteristics and flocking/herding of prey on predator-prey interactions.

Mike Ryder

Wrote a paper on complexity.

Nate Skiba

Developed a "CSSBeagle" Python project to evolve Cascading Style Sheets for HTML web pages, according to user aesthetics.

Oliver McGraw

Attempted to evolve neural network-controlled foraging agents similar to Parisi et al.

Paul Williams

Worked with Beer's "minimally cognitive agents" to evolve agents capable of modulating their behavior based on external signals, concurrent size, and sequential size.

Rick Hullinger

Developed an evolutionary system to investigate Kruschke's model of learning and the form and function of attention-shifting in rapidly changing environments.

Stephen Denton

Evolved optimal constants for a Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm on two functions (Gaussian and Schaffer).

Will Pierce

Produced some inconclusive estimates of complexity of multiple sound signals.

Will York

"Musical Vermin", a NetLogo-based predator/prey/food model that incorporated sonification to characterize dynamics of the simulation.



2008 – Spring


James Amstutz

The Evolution of Morals as it Pertains to Artificial Intelligence (paper)

Austin Bower

Music Composition Using Genetic Algorithms (paper, with Luke Warren)

Robert Bowers

Resistance to Speciation (paper, also some simulation work) – Investigating sexual selection pressures

John Bowker

Evocell – software project to evolve motile cells

Amanda Dennis

Evolution of Communication and Language (paper)

James Doran

Genetic Algorithms: Their Use and Progression into Video Games (paper)

Alex Gerlach

Genetic Algorithms in the Real World (paper)

Shira Goodman

Animal Cognition (paper)

Charles Hart

Implementation of IzhikevichÕs spiking neuron model on an AVR microcontroller

Barry Kaufmann

Artificial Intelligence as a Means for Music Composition (paper)

Matt Kelley

Artificial Life Simulators in Environmental Studies (paper)

Philip Koch

Implemented flocking model in Second Life (with Michael Overfield)

Andrew Maitlen

Das Furbi – A NetLogo model of agents that trade off strength vs. speed (with Katie OÕDonnell)

Nick Mendel

Added Genetic Algorithm to Craig ReynoldÕs OpenSteer to evolve soccer-playing teams

Katie OÕDonnell

Das Furbi – A NetLogo model of agents that trade off strength vs. speed (with Andrew Maitlen)

Michael Overfield

Implemented flocking model in Second Life (with Philip Koch)

Katrina Panovich

Software model of the evolution of complexity, in the manner of McShea, adding complexity effects on extinction rate due to YaegerÕs adaptation of Griffith & Farmer

Joseph Renneisen

Partially successful port of Polyworld to Windows

Chris Schneider

Autonomic Systems:  Self-Sustaining Computer Architectures (paper)

Joseph Voyles

Developed a Genetic Algorithm capable of evolving specific bodies of text

Luke Warren

Music Composition Using Genetic Algorithms (paper, with Austin Bower)