AI: Conway Creatures!

Recently I’ve been reading up on Cellular Evolutionary Algorithms and on the use of Genetic Algorithms (GAs) to evolve Cellular Automata (CA). I want to try out all sorts of different things so I will be doing a series of posts where I explore different interpretations of a concept – Conway Creatures.

Get Involved!
I have a few programmers, logicians and AI enthusiasts that follow my blog so I wanted to see if I could make something of the concept. I’d like to see all your interpretations of what a Conway creature is. Given a rough description, which is essentially: creatures (2D,3D, etc) of which the properties are evolved in some way using a mix of CA and GAs. If I get any i’ll do posts dedicated to the entries. I would also like to see varied definitions of the concept such as the use of other works by John Conway (e.g., the growth rate of the Look and Say sequence – Conway’s Constant, the Surreal Numbers, Conway notation for polyhedra, etc), other CA rules and other Evolutionary methods.

The First Detour – Longevity in Game of Life:
I began to write the program and found myself wondering “What are the characteristics of longevity in CAs?” and I’m still not sure. I’ve been trying different takes on mutation and crossover where I take chunks of the board and flip them or turn them all on/off. It doesn’t seem to make much difference, I was hoping it would conserve locality. I also tried out Boltzmann selection (Simulated Annealing) but tournament selection (dueling) worked much better. Any ideas?

This is my program so far, I am taking a little detour to look into longevity, but in Issue 1 there will be a creature where the 3D terrain is. Probably not very complicated, I was thinking of making the creature some sort of shape, like an octahedron.


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