The simulated bodies in alien can be programmed to feature self-replicating capabilities. Such programming is used here to examine evolutionary processes more realistically than with conventional evolutionary algorithms, since the evolving structures perform the replication themselves. Two main types of self-replicating structures are investigated: replication by self-inspection and replication by information-processing. The first type of replicators are able to scan their own parts and initiate a step-by-step copy process of each part. The second type of replicator uses a digital analog of DNA, in which the construction information of each part is stored in an internal memory. The following pages show experiments and results on large time scales on both replicator types. Please note that the results revealed here can only provide indications of evolution processes in alien, since the conduction and results of the simulations have not yet been analyzed in more detail.
In an older version of the software and its underlying model, experimental results with evolving structures using genetic algorithms were published: