This course has been re-designed as a new course now offered at Indiana University: biologically-inspired computing. The lecture notes of the new course have updated substantially the notes from the old course below; therefore, I encourage readers to looks at the new lecture notes. The old course presented an overview of the field of Evolutionary Systems and its applied branch of Artificial Life. The historical and philosophical foundations of evolutionary thought are explored with particular emphasis on computational simulations of its models. Topics include: Self-Organizing Systems, Natural Selection, Dynamic Systems, Boolean Networks, Cellular Automata, Genetic ALgorithms, Evolutionary Robotics, etc. Students were expected to develop artificial life models, or, if requested, write a specific topic paper. You can check out the lecture notes below.


Cybernetics and Systems Theory

Title Description
Principia Cybernetica Web

The Project's aim is the computer-supported collaborative development of an evolutionary-systemic philosophy. Put more simply, PCP tries to tackle age-old philosophical questions with the help of the most recent cybernetic theories and technologies. Check out its collection of links on related issues

Cybernetics, Systems Theory and Complexity

by Martin Ryder.

Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering

at State University of New York at Binghamton. There you can find Howard Pattee's Homepage and George Klir's Homepage.

International Federation for Systems Research

Heinz von Foerster

An interview with one of the founding fathers of cybernetics and such topics as self-organization.

Gordon Pask

List or resources and tributes to one the founding fathers of cybernetics. Check out also Paul Pangaro's Pask Archive

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Discrete Dynamical Systems

Title Description
Andy Wuensche's Discrete Dynamics Lab

an interactive graphics program for research into the dynamics of finite discrete variable networks (such as Cellular Automata and Random Boolean Networks), relevant to the study of complexity, emergent phenomena, neural networks, and aspects of theoretical biology such as gene regulatory networks. You can also check out the abstract of his PhD dissertation Attractor Basins of Discrete Networks: Implications on self-organisation and memory

Random Boolean Networks

A guided lecture from the Neural Network Gallery offered by the Artificial Neural Networks Laboratory of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center (Snezhinsk)

Evolving Cellular Automata

How does evolution produce sophisticated emergent computation in systems composed of simple components limited to local interactions? This SFI Project aims at the construction of models of such processes, using genetic algorithms to evolve cellular automata to perform computational tasks requiring globally-coordinated information processing.

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Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems

Title Description
COGS Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems research Papers

Working Papers in evolutionary and adaptive systems produced by students and staff at the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences at the University of Sussex At Brighton, a reputed centre for multi-disciplinary research and teaching in artificial intelligence, computer science, linguistics, philosophy and psychology. Check out an overview of their research in this area.

Complex Adaptive Systems and Artificial Life

by Moshe Sipper


an interdisciplinary science that studies communication and signification in living systems.

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Evolutionary Computation and Intelligent Systems

Title Description
Evolutionary Computation by Craig Reynolds

Evolutionary Computation is the general term for several computational techniques which are based to some degree on the evolution of biological life in the natural world.

Evolutionary Computation and Artificial Life

List of resources by Una-May O'Reilly

Intelligent Systems

A very complete overview with many references by Brendan Kitts.

MSU Genetic Algorithms Research and Applications Group (the GARAGe)

a multi-disciplinary unit interested in the application of Genetic Algorithms and Genetic Programming to real-world problems, as well as fundamental research on GA and GP.

The Genetic Algorithms Archive

is a repository for information related to research in genetic algorithms. Available from this site are past issues of the GA-List digest, source code for many GA implementations, and announcements about GA-related conferences. Also, links are given to many interesting sites around the World with material related to evolutionary computation. This archive is maintained by Alan C. Schultz at The Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence.

The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to Evolutionary Computation (ENCORE)

Mostly useful compedium of 656 files on the art of evolutionary computation suitable for all ages, particularly, beginners in the field, (although it has been reported to us that even some old-timers enjoyed reading it).

The Data Mine

Provides information about Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD), also known as Knowledge Acquisition from Databases and Knowledge Discovery.

Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery

The practice of data mining or knowledge discovery, despite highly intricate procedures and applications, is based on a very simple concept. Collecting information from a breadth of sources for the purpose of analysis. Generally, data mining or hard drive recovery is done in order to glean information which can then be utilized to improve a process or technique. From business to science data mining has become essential to standard operations. For am ore in depth view of data mining and knowledge discovery and the variety of way in which it is used, visit the listings below for a full tour of this multi-faceted science.

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General Resource Lists

Title Description
The Artificial Life Newsgroup

Interact with the Artificial Life Community

Artificial Life Online

at the Santa Fe Institute

Artificial Life Bibliography of On-line Publications

by Ezequiel A. Di Paolo

The Living Dimension

by David M. Koelle. Includes overviews of models with decentralized organizations, intelligent agents, etc.

Artificial Life at Johns Hopkins'

Principia Cybernetica Web's Links on Complexity, Self-organization and Artificial Life

Vida Artificial (In Spanish)

by J.J. Merelo

Marco's Maddening Artificial Life Page

list of on-line Alife papers

by Patrick Tufts. Includes papers on genetic programming, learning, autonomous agents, robotics, and evolution.


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Philosophy and Conceptual Issues

Title Description

Logic, Philosophy, and Artificial Life Resources

Philosophy of Artificial Life Bibliography

by Brian Keeley

Enactive Cognitive Science snd Autopoiesis

Guide to Internet Resources on Autopoiesis compiled by Randall Whitaker

Laboratory for the Theory of the Artificial

The research at LCA, aims at promoting debate on what artificial objects are, in whatever areas they are generated. Directed by Prof. Massimo Negrotti, at the University of Urbino, Italy.

Alan N. Shapiro, Technologist and Futurist

has many articles on the "New Computer Science" which is theorized as being a possible breakthrough to creating Artificial Life.

Evolution, Complexity and Philosophy

by Hans-Cees A.M. Speel

The International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology

brings together scholars from diverse disciplines, including the life sciences as well as history, philosophy, and social studies of science.

The Darwin-L Web Server

Selection Theory Bibliography

by Gary A. Cziko and Donald T. Campbell

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Robotics and Autonomous Agents

Year Reference
MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

The principal goals of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are to develop a computational theory of intelligence and to develop high-impact practical applications. Check out their broad range of research on mobile robots and autonomous systems

Autonomous Agents Research Group

in the department of Computer Engineering and Science at Case Western Reserve University conducts interdisciplinary research in cooperation with researchers in the departments of Biology, Mechanical Engineering, and Systems Engineering. This research includes work in evolutionary algorithms, mobile robotics, and computational biology.

The Interaction Lab

in the Volen Center for Complex Systems of the Computer Science Department at Brandeis University. Its mission is to study interaction dynamics at different scales, including those within human cognitive systems, herds of physical robots, animal populations, and economies. They seek to understand the mechanisms that generate complex group behaviors from local interactions between the agents/components/individuals, and to develop methods for principled synthesis and analysis of complex group behavior.

Some robotics and AI links.

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Self-Organization and Complexity

Year Reference
The Santa Fe Institute

is a private, independent, multidisciplinary research and education center, founded in 1984. Since its founding SFI has devoted itself to creating a new kind of scientific research community, pursuing emerging science. Operating as a small, visiting institution, SFI seeks to catalyze new collaborative, multidisciplinary projects that break down the barriers between the traditional disciplines, to spread its ideas and methodologies to other individuals and encourage the practical applications of its results.

Complexity and Self-Organisation:

A list of resources by Susan Stepney

Complexity Magazine

Bi-monthly, cross-disciplinary journal focusing on the rapidly expanding science of complex adaptive systems. The purpose of the journal is to advance the science of complexity. Articles may deal with such methodological themes as chaos, genetic algorithms, cellular automata, neural networks, and evolutionary game theory. Editors: Harold Morowitz and John Casti

Yahoo - Science:Complex Systems

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Simulations and Software

Year Reference

Craig Reynolds' research on flocking behavior. Includes Java applets and a list of internet resources related to Boids (including links to free software). Check out also his behavioral animation page.


Ariel Dolan's flocking Alife creatures. Interactive Java applets which allow the user to change traits and personality of individual Floys (iFloys & eFloys), and also breeding and evolving the population (eFloys) with genetic algorithms. You can also read his thoughts on code sharing as an Alife experiment in memetic evolution.

The Swarm Simulation System

Software package for multi-agent simulation of complex systems being developed at The Santa Fe Institute. Swarm is intended to be a useful tool for researchers in a variety of disciplines, especially artificial life.

Implementation of the John von Neumann Universal Constructor

by R. Nobili and U. Pesavento. Check out the interactive version of the software.

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Social Sciences

Last Modified: August 7, 2014