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Corvus

starting with artificial life

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Corvus    122
Hey, I would like to know more about artificial life. What topics of AI are important for artificial life? Any good articles/links to start with?? Thanx +++ Corvus +++

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fup    463
A Life, like AI is a vast subject. Following is a list of topics you can search for. Hopefully, one or more of them will be of interest.


Cellular Automata
L Systems
Genetic Algorithms
Genetic Programming
Neural Networks
Flocking (a steering behavior. Not alife as such but interesting)


Here are some links to get you started:

http://www.mathcs.sjsu.edu/faculty/rucker/bopbook.htm
http://www.alcyone.com/max/links/alife.html

Have fun!





ai-junkie.com

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kirkd    505
Corvus,

A lot actually depends upon what you deem to be artificial life. For example: Conway''s Game of Life, Genetic Algorithms, Cellular Automata, Genetic Algorithms to define the rules for Cellular Automata, Neural Networks, Genetic Algorithms to define the topology and weighting in Neural Networks, etc... I think you get the point that it all comes down to your definition regardless of how simple or complex. Even the world of molecular biology is still in debate over whether viruses should be considered life forms or not.

My pet project for which I''ve followed many, many related research projects is the development of logic for Pac-Man and the dreaded Ghosts. There''s a thread in this very forum for this topic as well. I like the idea of approaching it from a Genetic Algorithm standpoint to evolve Pac-Men and Ghosts to see the emergent behavior. Something to keep me busy.

Last of all, check out the book :The Computational Beauty of Nature by Flake - lots of good ideas there and a reasonably easy read.

-Kirk

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fup    463
A lot actually depends upon what you deem to be artificial life

Frankenstein''s Monster!


Thanks for the book link Kirk. I''ve not seen that one before. I''ve just ordered it but I have to wait 3-5 weeks! grrrr

Have you got anywhere with your pacman project? Anything to show us?




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kirkd    505
fup,

You''re welcome. The book is fantastic! Maybe I should write up a review for the book section. Anywho, enjoy.

As for my Pac-Man project, I haven''t made any progress. Actually, it is all in theory right now. I''ve spent most of my free time over the past year coming up with an Evolutionary Programming approach to develop Decision Trees. I call it Virtual Bonzai. 8^) I''ve actually gotten a lot of great results with that and I''m putting together the final data in order to publish my results in a peer-reviewed journal. Hopefully after all of that is done, I can start evolving Pac-Men. ugh. Crazy life! So much time, so little to do...no wait...reverse that...


How about you? Any new tutorials? The two I''ve seen are great!

-Kirk

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fup    463
I''ve been busy writing a book for the last few months but now it''s finished and waiting to be printed I''m working on the next tutorial for the website- Self Organising Maps.

I''d be interested to see your article on evolving decision trees. What programming language are you using?




ai-junkie.com

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kirkd    505
Book, eh? Any autographed copies laying around? 8^)

I''m programming in C++. I''ve tried to keep the OO side of it as reasonable as possible - I''ve been reading Design Patterns as well, so I''m very enthused about that aspect. I''ll let you know what I end up with regarding decision tree tutorials.

-Kirk

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Timkin    864
quote:
Original post by kirkd
I''ve spent most of my free time over the past year coming up with an Evolutionary Programming approach to develop Decision Trees.



By this do you mean using EP techniques for: a) learning classifications on trees; or b) evolving tree topology to fit data; or c) both; or d) something completely different?

Without giving your game away, I''d really appreciate hearing about what you''ve been doing, as we do a lot of research on decision trees here at Monash.

Cheers,

Timkin

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kirkd    505
Infinisearch - Sweet links!! Thanks for that one!!

Timkin - essentially I'm using EP to develop the complete structure of the decision tree. The feature used for split, the value of the feature, and the topology follows. I'm hoping to put together a short tutorial on what I've done - I'll let you know when I'm finished. Hopefully it'll be done this week. (hope hope hope) And actually, it's not game related, I work in Cheminformatics/Bioinformatics - I've probably mentioned that before - but I think it could be useful for game related issues, ala my Pac-Man idea above. My bigger concern is giving away the technique before I have a chance to publish it with my name on it. ugh. Crazy academic pangs.

Speaking of academia, how has the job interview gone?

-Kirk

BTW, do you have any links to decision tree research pages at Monash? Thanks!

[edited by - KirkD on October 1, 2002 8:35:42 AM]

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Timkin    864
quote:
Original post by kirkd
Timkin - essentially I'm using EP to develop the complete structure of the decision tree. The feature used for split, the value of the feature, and the topology follows.



How does your evaluation stack up against the standard comparitive algorithms for evaluating trees (eg C4.5)? Have you been using the standard UCI data sets for performance evaluation? I'd love to hear how your algorithm performs compared with current methods.

quote:
Original post by kirkd
My bigger concern is giving away the technique before I have a chance to publish it with my name on it. ugh. Crazy academic pangs.



That's not normally a problem if you've got a draft paper prepared. It's not really an issue though since you can't copyright your algorithm, only the specific implementation of it. You wouldn't really want to anyway. If you've got a good method, people will want to try it out for themselves and test it out again and again. Just write up a draft of a paper and submit it to a conference or journal... it's very unlikely that someone would try and claim the idea as their own once you're at that stage.

quote:
Original post by kirkd
Speaking of academia, how has the job interview gone?



I had a meeting over at La Trobe this morning to discuss research ideas and funding options. Sounds very promising as they have a lot of industry support and research funds. I'm putting in a submission to do research on Dynamic Enemy Strategies, which incorporates some user modelling and plan recognition with adaptive behaviours. On other fronts, I've got a tentative offer to do a post-doc in seizure prediction (neuro-physiology) which placates my maths background and interest in the brain... I just can't decide if I want to indulge my need for money (the whole non-linear prediction bit pays very well in industry) or my love of computer games (which doesn't pay so well)!!!

quote:
Original post by kirkd
BTW, do you have any links to decision tree research pages at Monash?



You'd think a comp sci department would have good web pages... and well, they look pretty, but...

You can probably find some publication information on the web pages of David Dowe, Chris Wallace, Ingrid Zuckerman and Geoff Webb. Ingrid, in particular, spent her sabbatical last year over at Microsoft, helping them implement some decision tree stuff developed at Monash by Chris Wallace. Geoff does a lot of work on machine learning and classification, as does David and Chris. Chris is the father of MML, which is used extensively in classification problems.

I look forward to hearing how your research turns out!

Cheers,

Timkin

[edited by - Timkin on October 2, 2002 2:16:18 AM]

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kirkd    505
quote:
Original post by Timkin
How does your evaluation stack up against the standard comparitive algorithms for evaluating trees (eg C4.5)? Have you been using the standard UCI data sets for performance evaluation? I'd love to hear how your algorithm performs compared with current methods.



I haven't compared it to C4.5 specifically, but in comparison to the standard Recursive Partitioning algorithm in S-Plus and one of the industry standard applications we use (Cerius2) it gets about 5-15% better predictions on an external test set of observations. I've been doing a 10-fold cross-validation process and averaging the results across multiple runs, so I'm confident of the overall performance.

quote:
Original post by Timkin
That's not normally a problem if you've got a draft paper prepared. It's not really an issue though since you can't copyright your algorithm, only the specific implementation of it. You wouldn't really want to anyway. If you've got a good method, people will want to try it out for themselves and test it out again and again. Just write up a draft of a paper and submit it to a conference or journal... it's very unlikely that someone would try and claim the idea as their own once you're at that stage.



I'm not too worried about copyright or patent issues. I'm more worried about having time to get it all put together and getting it published in a good journal before someone else with more time (and likely more hands) scoops me.

quote:
Original post by Timkin
I had a meeting over at La Trobe this morning to discuss research ideas and funding options. Sounds very promising as they have a lot of industry support and research funds. I'm putting in a submission to do research on Dynamic Enemy Strategies, which incorporates some user modelling and plan recognition with adaptive behaviours. On other fronts, I've got a tentative offer to do a post-doc in seizure prediction (neuro-physiology) which placates my maths background and interest in the brain... I just can't decide if I want to indulge my need for money (the whole non-linear prediction bit pays very well in industry) or my love of computer games (which doesn't pay so well)!!!



What??!!?? I thought game developers made boo-koo bucks! Of course, in academia you can do what you want, when you want, at the pace you want.....yeah...I fell for that one myself.


Thanks for the links. I'll check 'em out. And, I'll let you know once I get things written up and in a semi-stable form...

-Kirk

[edited by - KirkD on October 3, 2002 8:35:09 AM]

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Timkin    864
quote:
Original post by kirkd
What??!!?? I thought game developers made boo-koo bucks!



Definitely not... it''s a very underpaid industry for the skills required, particularly when compared to other areas of IT.

quote:
Original post by kirkd
Of course, in academia you can do what you want, when you want, at the pace you want...


So long as you''re publishing, you can do what you like (up to a point)... it''s all PUBLISH, PUBLISH, PUBLISH... and if you don''t, you don''t get funding and then you are soon out of work!

Good luck with getting everything finished.

Cheers,

Timkin

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Ferretman    276
quote:
Original post by kirkd
fup,

You''re welcome. The book is fantastic! Maybe I should write up a review for the book section. Anywho, enjoy.

As for my Pac-Man project, I haven''t made any progress. Actually, it is all in theory right now. I''ve spent most of my free time over the past year coming up with an Evolutionary Programming approach to develop Decision Trees. I call it Virtual Bonzai. 8^) I''ve actually gotten a lot of great results with that and I''m putting together the final data in order to publish my results in a peer-reviewed journal. Hopefully after all of that is done, I can start evolving Pac-Men. ugh. Crazy life! So much time, so little to do...no wait...reverse that...

-Kirk


Evolving Decision Trees could be pretty neat, kirkd. Plus you''ve got a cool name there with "Virtual Bonzai".

Do you have any particular thoughts on what journal you might submit the article to? You might also want to consider a variant of it for AI Game Programming Wisdom 2, since it sounds like something that would be quite useful for online games and the like.




Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com
www.gameai.com
From the High Mountains of Colorado

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Ferretman    276
quote:
Original post by kirkd
Book, eh? Any autographed copies laying around? 8^)

-Kirk


Hey, not before I get mine from the man, right fup?




Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com
www.gameai.com
From the High Mountains of Colorado



[edited by - Ferretman on October 8, 2002 10:47:17 PM]

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fup    463
You and your ferrets will get to see the book before me! It takes about 3 weeks for packages to travel across the ocean.

I reckon you should receive yours around the 28/29th






ai-junkie.com

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kirkd    505
Ferretman,

Hmmmm...Game AI Programming Wisdom II, eh? Hmmmm...I hadn''t thought of that as I consider myself an absolute amateur. What is the deadline for such a submission/proposal? If I can get the Pac-Man control system together in a reasonable period of time and get it working properly, that might be a good idea. Thanks for the tip!

-Kirk

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fup    463
Yeah it is a good idea. I''d like to see that sort of thing in the book anyway. The deadline is Nov 1st (for writing the proposal, not the article).

You can find the details here:

http://www.aiwisdom.com/






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kirkd    505
Fup,

Thanks for the link. I may just put together such a proposal. The question is whether I can get my system working for a game oriented article in the time frame. Sounds reasonable assuming the process goes well and I have some solid results (data) to show for the effort.

Who''d''a''thought I would start out making decision trees for Cheminformatics and Bioinformatics and then write it up in AI Wisdom. 8^) "If I know one thing for sure, it''s that I don''t know where I''ll be tomorrow."

-Kirk

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