The .NET Framework, Genetic Programming and Rudy Rucker


This month’s MSDN has an amazing article on genetic programming with the .NET Framework. If you aren’t familiar with genetic programming, it is the application of evolution to writing algorithms and programs, fundamentally teaching the computer to breed applications.  This article uses the CodeDom to generate and breed applications based on a famous problem in genetic programming from John Koza’s seminal work Genetic Programming: On the Programming of Computers by means of Natural Selection.   The problem itself is simulation of ants searching for food in the most efficient way. Source code is included, so you can get a sense of how this works.  There is even mutation added to keep some randomness in the gene pool.


Where does Rudy Rucker fit in?  He’s a computer scientist professor, but also a science fiction writer, who often includes genetic programming in his novels, perhaps with the most detail in a work called The Hacker and the Ants, which I’m sure was inspired by the very problem solved in this MSDN article. Definitely worth reading.


I’ll be breeding Avalon 3D apps in my spare time…


 


Comments (2)

  1. Strafe says:

    I enjoyed the article too, and just dropped 5.00 at half.com for The Hacker and the Ants! Thanks for the reco. What other (fictional)books deal with this topic?

  2. The only author I know of is Rudy Rucker. If you like his stuff, check out the -ware series (Software, Wetware, Realware) which involves bio-androids bred via genetic programming.

    Also, just was turned on to this link from channel9: http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996112