Objectives and visions
A long-term goal of this open-source project is to provide a high-performance particle-based simulation platform in order to tackle various questions in the field of Artificial Life. ALIEN has been specifically designed to perform computer experiments with programmable matter building blocks in physical environments. Besides that it can also be seen as a kind of game where one can play, experiment and explore digital worlds and ecosystems without a specific aim. The main design goals of the simulator are as follows:
- Utilization of CUDA and OpenGL for simulation and rendering to support large worlds with millions of particles.
- No hard-coded behavior patterns. Everything should emerge from the interaction of particles.
- An enjoyable user interface in spite of the complexity of the simulation model and the wide range of adjustment options.
- Visually appealing post-processing of the rendered simulation data.
In the following some visions targeting particular aspects of Artificial Life are highlighted, where ALIEN might be useful as a simulation platform.
Explore life not only as we know it but as it could be
Address the origin of life question and prebiotic evolution
Investigate different types of self-replicating machines
Evolution of self-replicating machines
Investigating longtime behavior of artificial ecosystems