Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Ascent Of Van.

I don't know quite how to explain today's offering. I've just found it and I am somewhat taken aback.

Put simply, it's a program someone has written which shows the realtime evolution of a car.

Now, I don't mean it shows the stages of a car being built, or how a certain model of car has changed over the years.

No. This is a genetic algorithm enabling the selective breeding of randomly generated vehicles. Each one is spawned and then its progress is recorded. The ones that get the furthest in the fastest times live on to 'reproduce' and pass on their strengths to a new generation.

This is one of the weirdest posts I've ever had to write. Thinking about it is making my head hurt. I think it is best if you just see for yourself. If you can handle it.

BoxCar 2D.

Let it run for a while. See how some are more successful than others? Through subsequent generations, you'll see tweaked versions of those cars as they literally evolve. It's strangely heart-warming. I found myself really rooting for certain scrappy little racers and being emotionally crushed (well, a bit) when one of them spawned upside down. Removing itself from the gene pool by dint of pure dumb luck.

I still don't fully understand the finer points of this program, but I am finding The FAQ pretty useful.

The theory of Evolution applied to cars. THAT is why I love the internet.

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