The evolution of structural design through artificial embryogeny

T. Kowaliw and P. Grogono and N. Kharma
definitive version
paper preprint (PDF)
conference presentation (PDF)

See the Deva project page for an introductory explanation.


We present a model of artificial embryogeny, Deva1, with discussion of design rationale. The motivation for an externally-evaluated test-bed for models in artificial embryogeny is discussed. We review a simple model of structural design, the plane truss. The Deval model is applied to the evolution of designs for trusses, showing that a variety of trusses satisfying distinct fitness-imposed criteria may be evolved; We evolve trusses capable of supporting external forces efficiently while either minimizing material usage or minimizing base size. Finally, we introduce a model-level perturbation, the inclusion of a seed rule, a metaphor for the initial cleavage found in real-world embryogeny. Through an empirical evaluation, we determine that the use of a seed rule is found to improve the overall quality of evolved designs, and to lessen the fitness variance between the runs.