Artificial ecosystems for creative discovery

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McCormack, J.: Artificial ecosystems for creative discovery. In: Thierens, D., et al. (eds.) Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, pp. 301–307 (2007).



This paper discusses the concept of an artificial ecosystem for use in machine-assisted creative discovery. Properties and processes from natural ecosystems are abstracted and applied to the design of creative systems, in a similar way that evolutionary computing methods use the metaphor of Darwinian evolution to solve problems in search and optimisation. The paper examines some appropriate mechanisms and metaphors when applying artificial ecosystems to problems in creative design. General properties and processes of evolutionary artificial ecosystems are presented as a basis for developing individual systems that automate the discovery of novelty without explicit teleological goals. The adaptation of species to fit their environment drives the creative solutions, so the role of the designer shifts to the design of environments. This allows a variety of creative solutions to emerge in simulation without the need for explicit or human-evaluated fitness measures, such as those used in interactive evolution. Two example creative ecosystems are described to highlight the effectiveness of the method presented.

Extended Abstract


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