Bug's A-Life

Bug's A-Life
This curious little program is an artificial life (A-Life) simulation which investigates the properties of so-called ``nervous nets'' (see the README file in the source for details) in a simple, controlled environment. Networks evolve through mutation and selection. The bugs? Well, they wander around the screen, munch on simulated food and display fascinating evolutions of behavior.

Warning: In spite of all efforts to optimize the computation in this program, it still remains compute-intensive. The main sensory source for each bug is its ``eyes'', which are made up of a number of pixels spanning some angle of aperture in front of the bug. The position of each object in the world is projected onto the bug's eye. This necessitates a large amount of geometry problem solving with its attendant sines, cosines, tangents, squares, and square roots. It will run smoothly on a 400 MHz machine. It runs exceptionally well on my dual-Pentium 400 box, with the simulation and the X11 display neatly divided between the two processors. On my 166 MHz laptop, it grinds along rather slowly, but it's still good at holding my rapt attention for long periods of time.

This program is provided as freeware under an artistic license. Improvements, changes, interpretations, discussions, and citations are all welcome. Useful and/or interesting code changes (or suggestions) should be referred back to the source (me) so I can add them to the distribution as the mood strikes me.

Notice: Source includes a binary executable for Linux systems. Source compilation requires Motif or Lesstif libraries.

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---As always, Caveat end-user.

Last updated: July 19, 2012 at 9:44am