Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Noble Ape Artificial Life Simulator


I was initially very excited with the Noble Ape artificial life simulator. I became a little less excited when I had a look at the documentation which lacked the clarity and detail that I was hoping for.

I became less sure when I could not figure out whether Noble Ape uses neural networks but I had a look at one of the videos on the Noble Ape site which pointed out that the apes do use neural networks. So that was one concern down.

My next concern is the artificial world and the level of embodiment. The world looks very simple and I don't know whether it has the level of embodiment that I am looking for.

Overall, I think that Noble Ape may not be appropriate at this time because of the project has a low popularity, it doesn't seem widely supported, it looks difficult to extend to include more sophisticated agent communication and it looks difficult to customise the neural networks. I am just not sure whether what is there such as the island and ape physical processes are worth keeping and tacking on other things such as a more sophisticated neural network, a greater degree of natural embodiment and a more complex environment.

In short, I am taking Noble Ape off my AL simulator short list for now.

BBC conducted an informative interview with Tom Barbalet, the main developer of Noble Ape and Rick Colsante, developer of a plant artificial life simulator..

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