(Animated Artificial Life)
The artificial life worlds described here incorporate physical, genetic, and motor-control
models which are spare and scaled down as much as possible to allow for computational speed
and real-time animation, while still allowing enough emergent phenomena to make the experience
interesting and informative. The effects of Darwinian evolution can be witnessed in less
than a half-an hour (on a home computer). For educational and entertaining experiences, it
is important that there be enough interaction, immersion, and discovery to keep a participant
involved while the primordial soup brews. The average short-attention-span hardcore gamer may
not appreciate the meditative pace at which an evolutionary artificial life system runs. But
artificial life enthusiasts and artistically or scientifically oriented observers may find it
just fine. For watching evolutionary phenomena, it sure beats waiting around a couple million
years to watch lizards turn into snakes.
In this paper, I have described many of the techniques, concepts, and concerns involved in a
methodology for creating animated artificial life worlds. This approach does not begin with
a biological research agenda but rather an eye towards the creation of forms and motions
which are lifelike and autonomous(an endeavor related to character animation. The artificial
life agenda of studying emergent behavior by way of the crafting of simulations has become
incorporated into this animation methodology, and with it, some key themes from evolutionary
biology, such as sexual selection.
I hope that these ideas and techniques will be useful for further advances in animated
artificial life, for education, entertainment, and research. I also hope that this and other
such animated artificial life explorations will deepen our appreciation for the biosphere,
and our kinship with all animals.
Anderson, L., Oh, Superman (phonograph record album), 1981
Badler, N., Barsky, B., Zeltzer, D. Making Them Move. Morgan Kaufmann, 1991
Braitenberg, V., Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. 1984
Brooks, R., Elephants Don't Play Chess. Designing Autonomous Agents, (ed. Maes), MIT Press, 1990 page 3.
Dawkins, R.: The Evolution of Evolvability. Artificial Life Proceedings, Addison-Wesley 1989 pages 201-220.
Goldberg, D. Genetic Algorithms in Search, Optimization, & Machine Learning. Addison-Wesley, 1989
Holland, J. Adaptation in Natural and Artificial Systems. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor. 1975
Koza, J., Genetic Programming: on the Programming of Computers by Means of Natural Selection. MIT Press, 1992
Langton, C., Artificial Life. Addison-Wesley, 1989
Maes, Pattie, ed. Designing Autonomous Agents. MIT Press, 1990
Mandelbrot, B. The Fractal Geometry of Nature. W. H. Freeman and Company, 1977. page 34
McKenna, M., and Zeltzer, D. Dynamic Simulation of Autonomous Legged Locomotion, Computer Graphics, Vol. 24, no. 4, July 1990 pp. 29-38.
Miller, G. and Todd, P. Evolutionary Wanderlust: Sexual selection with directional mate preferences. From Animals to Animats II, eds. Meyer, Roitblat, Wilson. MIT Press, 1993
Ngo, T. and Marks, J. Spacetime Constraints Revisited. Computer Graphics . pp. 343-350. 1993
O'Reilly, U., and Ramachandran, G. A Preliminary Investigation of Evolution as a Form Design Strategy. Artificial Life VI, MIT Press, 1998
Raibert, M., and Hodgins, J.K., Animation of Dynamic Legged Locomotion.", Computer Graphics, vol. 25, no. 4, July 1991, pp 349-358.
Reynolds, C., Flocks, Herds, and Schools: A Distributed Behavioral Model. Computer Graphics, vol 21, number 4, July, 1987.
RSG (Rocket Science Games, Inc., producer) Darwin Pond, software product. 1997. (explained in the web site at: http://www.ventrella.com/Alife/Darwin/darwin.html)
Sims, K. Evolving Virtual Creatures. Computer Graphics. SIGGRAPH Proceedings pp. 15-22 1994.
Sims, K. Evolving 3D Morphology and Behavior by Competition. Artificial Life IV. MIT Press 1994
Terzopoulis, D., Tu, X., and Grzeszczuk, R. Artificial Fishes with Autonomous Locomotion, Perception, Behavior, and Learning in a Simulated Physical World. Artificial Life IV. MIT Press, 1994
Ventrella, J. Disney Meets Darwin (An Evolution-based Interface for Exploration and Design of Expressive Animated Behavior) MIT Media Lab Master's Thesis. MIT Press 1994 (a)
Ventrella, J. Explorations in the Emergence of Morphology and Locomotion Behavior in Animated Figures. Artificial Life IV. MIT Press 1994 (b)
Ventrella, J. Sexual Swimmers (Emergent Morphology and Locomotion without a Fitness Function). From Animals to Animats. MIT Press 1996 pages 484-493
Ventrella, J., Attractiveness vs. Efficiency (How Mate Preference Affects Locomotion in the Evolution of Artificial Swimming Organisms), Artificial Life VI Proceedings, MIT Press, 1998
Ventrella, J., Designing Emergence in Animated Artificial Life Worlds. Virtual Worlds (Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence 1434). ed. Jean-Claude Heudin) Springer-Verlag, 1998
Witkin, A. and Kass, M. Spacetime Constraints. Computer Graphics. 22(4): 159-168 Aug. 1988
Zeltzer, David. Task Level Graphical Simulation: Abstraction, Representation, and Control. from Making Them Move. ed Badler. 1991
(go to beginning of document)