[rc5] Genetic Algoritms

Kevin van Haaren KvanHaaren at HNTB.com
Wed Nov 5 18:41:16 EST 1997


I'm not quite sure what you're proposing.  Treat distributed.net as one
large computer and release several programs that try to win by
multipying so much that it takes everything over?  Isn't this virus-like
behavior?  What is the benefit from this?

I can see some benefits in learning about program interactions and
genetic like behavior in software but what is the advantage of doing
this on a distributed computer as opposed to a stand-alone?

Kevin

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Chris Arguin [SMTP:Chris.Arguin at unh.edu]
> Sent:	Wednesday, November 05, 1997 11:33 AM
> To:	rc5 at llamas.net
> Subject:	[rc5] Genetic Algoritms
> 
> 
> Here is a proposal I haven't seen yet. Genetic Algorithms can be
> distributed fairly well, and have a wide variety of applications.
> For those who aren't familiar with them, here is a rough concept: 
> You start with some programs. They may be randomly generated code, or
> they
> may be existing, working programs. You run them, and use some method
> to
> score them. You then "kill off" the weakest, and combine the strongest
> to
> generate new programs (the method of combination varies widely). The
> goal
> is to produce a new program that exhibits desirable characteristics,
> as
> defined by your scoring system. 
> 
> I propose to do this in "CoreWars." CoreWars is a game where multiple
> "warriors" (programs) are placed in the same computer. The goal is to
> stop
> all the other processes running, while still running yourself. You can
> read/write to anywhere in the computer, so you want to overwrite the
> enemy program with code to make it die. But your program must be small
> and
> fast, or you'll be destroyed first.
> 
> The CoreWars virtual machine already exist in a wide variety of
> platforms,
> and generates scoring information for you. There is an Internet
> CoreWars
> gaming group, which uses e-mail submission. We could spend a week to
> generate the best warrior, and then put it in the competition. 
> 
> People have used genetic algorithms in CoreWars before, with some
> success.
> I am proposing it here because we have a lot more potential processing
> power, and because I think it would be a rather nifty project. Imagine
> if
> our warrior came in first! The turnaround time is fairly quick, so we
> get
> "instant gratification." Better than distributed chess. And we could
> use
> off-line machines without taking much risk of losing anything.
> 
> As for the base genetic pool, we have two choices. We could randomly
> generate code, and work up from there (the "pure" way), or we could
> use
> the database of a few hundred warriors that already exist. This might
> jump-start us into action earlier.
> 
> For more information about CoreWars, check out http://www.koth.org.
> 
> So what do you think? 
> 
> --
> Chris Arguin                 | "The duke had a mind that ticked like a
> 
> Chris.Arguin at unh.edu         |  clock and, like a clock, it regularly 
>                              +--------------+	went cuckoo." - Wyrd
> Sisters,
> http://leonardo.sr.unh.edu/arguin/home.html |               Terry
> Pratchett
> 
> 
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