What is Achilles?
Achilles is an evolution simulation based on Larry Yaeger's PolyWorld. It
uses Hebbian neural networks, and an extremely simplified physical model
that allows virtual organisms to interact freely in a simulated environment.
Where can I get it?
What platforms does this work for?
Achilles was designed and compiled originally on Linux, but it is completely
composed of portable C++ code and uses only portable libs such as SDL and
OpenGL, therefore it should be trivial to port. All that is needed is hardware
to compile on. Any porting efforts that are in progress or successful are
welcome to contribute patches back to the main source tree. Currently I am
working on ports to Solaris, Mac and Windows.
What do I need?
You need an implementation of OpenGL, currently
its been tested only with Mesa3D the "unofficial"
implementation of OpenGL. You need GLU and GLUT which are included with
Mesa, and should be with most other OpenGL implementations. You need
Simple Directmedia Layer
, a crossplatform library for 2D graphics that works with GLUT to arrange
windowing-system related things for Mesa.
Achilles is licensed under the GNU's General
Protection License, therefore it is free to redistribute so long as the
license is kept intact and basically you give credit where credit is due.
Read the license for more information.
If you wish to submit any questions, comments, bug reports, patches, source
code, ports to other platforms, etc... feel free to email.
If you have access to an IRC client, you can login to irc.openprojects.net and
join #alife or #achilles for discussions, chat, or help on Artificial Life
and Achilles. (I'm actually usually there, I just don't look much in the
What do the colors mean?
The organisms are given the color of surrounding organisms as an input to
the neural network. This emulates ``vision''.
- The organism colors:
- The brighter red, the more aggressive
- The brighter blue, the more likely to mate
- Yellow indicates `dead' organisms, or sources of food
- The spikes that flash between the organisms:
- Red means attack
- Blue means mate
- Yellow means feeding
Does size matter?
Size is an attribute of the genetic algorithms and thus each organism obtains
its dimensions from its parents. Otherwise, not particularly.
Author: Matthew Danish (mrd at debian dot org)