Evolutionary Design

Posted on July 28, 2007  Comments (4)

Evolutionary algorithms now surpass human designers by Paul Marks:

Evolutionary Algorithms take two parent designs – for a boat hull, say – and blend components of each, perhaps taking the surface area of one and the curvature of another, to produce multiple hull offspring that combine the features of the parents in different ways. Then the algorithm selects those offspring it considers are worth re-breeding – in this case those with the right combination of parameters to make a better hull. The EA then repeats the process. Although many offspring will be discarded, after thousands of generations or more, useful features accumulate in the same design, and get combined in ways that likely would not have occurred to a human designer. This is because a human does not have the time to combine all the possibilities for each feature and evaluate them, but an EA does.

Evolving new designs is very cool. One point I would like to make (I am biased since my father did a great deal of work in this area) is the power of design of experiments to allow experimenting on multiple factors at once. This is a methodology that is still used far too little. Regardless, evolutionary design is very cool. The Human-Competitive awards highlight some examples.

Related: Statistics for ExperimentersInvention MachineEvo-DevoEvolution In Action

4 Responses to “Evolutionary Design”

  1. Ring Around the Sun » Design through Evolutionary Algorithms
    August 5th, 2007 @ 10:14 am

    […] was trolling through the archives of the ‘Curious Cat Blog’, when I stumbled across a post on evolutionary algorithms. Controversy aside, the practice of […]

  2. CuriousCat » Real-Time Evolution
    October 16th, 2007 @ 1:30 pm

    Researchers from Cornell University found that genetically identical fish are sending out two different electric signals, and certain male members of the species ignore some signals emitted by females, responding only to pulses similar to their own…

  3. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Evolution is Fundamental to Science
    April 19th, 2008 @ 9:04 am

    The idea that people today can question evolution is beyond amazing to me. It is much easier to understand some people thinking you would sail off the edge of the earth 500 years ago than anyone in the USA thinking there is any serious debate about evolution…

  4. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » The Chip That Designs Itself
    December 8th, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

    “The genetic algorithm, running on a standard PC, downloaded each design to the Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) and tested it with the two tones generated by the PC’s sound card…”

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