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Artificial Life

Spring 2011, Vol. 17, No. 2, Pages 123-136
(doi: 10.1162/artl_a_00023)
© 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Interactive Evolution of Camouflage
Article PDF (907.8 KB)

This article presents an abstract computation model of the evolution of camouflage in nature. The 2D model uses evolved textures for prey, a background texture representing the environment, and a visual predator. A human observer, acting as the predator, is shown a cohort of 10 evolved textures overlaid on the background texture. The observer clicks on the five most conspicuous prey to remove (“eat”) them. These lower-fitness textures are removed from the population and replaced with newly bred textures. Biological morphogenesis is represented in this model by procedural texture synthesis. Nested expressions of generators and operators form a texture description language. Natural evolution is represented by genetic programming (GP), a variant of the genetic algorithm. GP searches the space of texture description programs for those that appear least conspicuous to the predator.