The Electric Sheep Screen-Saver: A Case Study in Aesthetic Evolution

Aus de_evolutionary_art_org
Wechseln zu: Navigation, Suche


Draves, Scott: The Electric Sheep Screen-Saver: A Case Study in Aesthetic Evolution. In: EvoMUSART 2005, S. 458-467.



Electric Sheep is a distributed screen-saver that harnesses idle computers into a render farm with the purpose of animating and evolving artificial life-forms known as sheep. The votes of the users form the basis for the fitness function for a genetic algorithm on a space of fractal animations. Users also may design sheep by hand for inclusion in the gene pool. This paper describes the system and its algorithms, and reports statistics from 11 weeks of operation. The data indicate that Electric Sheep functions more as an amplifier of its human collaborators’ creativity rather than as a traditional genetic algorithm that optimizes a fitness function.

Extended Abstract


booktitle={Applications of Evolutionary Computing},
series={Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
editor={Rothlauf, Franz and Branke, Jürgen and Cagnoni, Stefano and Corne, DavidWolfe and Drechsler, Rolf and Jin, Yaochu and Machado, Penousal and Marchiori, Elena and Romero, Juan and Smith, GeorgeD. and Squillero, Giovanni},
title={The Electric Sheep Screen-Saver: A Case Study in Aesthetic Evolution},
url={ },
publisher={Springer Berlin Heidelberg},
author={Draves, Scott},

Used References

Anderson, D., et al.: SETI@home: An Experiment in Public-Resource Computing. Communications of the ACM 45, 56–61 (2002)

Barnsley, D.: Fractals Everywhere. Academic Press, San Diego (1988)

Dorin, A.: Aesthetic Fitness and Artificial Evolution for the Selection of Imagery from The Mythical Infinite Library. In: Kelemen, J., Sosík, P. (eds.) ECAL 2001. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 2159, pp. 659–668. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)

Draves, S.: The Fractal Flame Algorithm (Forthcoming), Available from

Draves, S.: The Interpretation of Dreams. YLEM Journal 23(6), 10–14 (2003)

Draves, S.: The Electric Sheep web site at,

Lipson, H., Pollack, J.B.: Automatic Design and Manufacture of Robotic Lifeforms. Nature 406(6799), 945–947 (2000)

Mount, J., Reilly, S., Witbrock, M.: International Genetic Art IV. Published on the web at,

Sims, K.: Artificial Evolution for Computer Graphics. In: Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 1991. ACM Press, New York (1991)

Townsend, M.: Apophysis v2 software distributed from (2004)


Full Text

intern file

Sonstige Links