Cody’s Chaos Column 58-9

Evolution. It’s topic that can can bring as much chaos as it can progress, or in this case, inexplicable entertainment.

A web application called “BoxCar2D” has taken the fundamentals of the theory, and turned them into a “genetic algorithm,” which is then applied to a succession of 2-dimensional vehicles.

The vehicles are spawned and mutated at random (at a rate you can choose). Once they are “born” they try to move along a randomly generated path (the life metaphors abound) and the cars that can make it the furthest (or “survive” the longest) reproduce and create a new generation of hopefully better cars.

Of course the randomness of the universe is somewhat compensated for, as the cars can have a tendancy to be born “upside down”, or mutate in a manner that may not be beneficial, adding another level of realism. You can try it yourself at www.boxcar2d.com

Cody’s Chaos Column

Cody Kimball

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