Paul Szerlip, and Kenneth O. Stanley (2014)
Steps Toward a Modular Library for Turning Any Evolutionary Domain into an Online Interactive Platform
In: Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (ALIFE XIV). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2014 (8 pages).
This paper is accompanied by a new online community: http://WINArk.org
Natural evolution inspires the fields of evolutionary computation (EC) and artificial life (ALife). A prominent feature of natural evolution is that it effectively never ends. However, most EC and ALife experiments are only run for several days or weeks at a time. Once an experiment concludes, reproducing, observing, or extending the results often requires considerable effort. In contrast, some Collaborative Interactive Evolution (CIE) systems, e.g. Picbreeder, were designed to preserve results as potential stepping stones to build upon later while taking advantage of human insight to solve challenging problems. Traditionally, building long-running and open experiments similar to Picbreeder presents a complex and time-consuming software challenge. To reduce this challenge and thereby remove the barrier to situating almost any experiment within an interactive online framework, this paper presents the initial prototype for Worldwide Infrastructure for Neuroevolution (WIN). Built in the model of Picbreeder, WIN is a modular library for significantly reducing the complexity of creating fully persistent, online, and interactive evolutionary platforms for any new or existing domain. WIN Online, the public interface for WIN, provides an online collection of domains built with WIN that lets novice and expert users browse and meaningfully contribute to ongoing experiments. Two example experiments in this paper demonstrate WIN's potential to quickly bootstrap any evolutionary domain with online and interactive capabilities.