Artificial Life

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

download word file, 11 pages 0.0

1.0 Introduction Artificial life has been an area of extensive scientific research and interest since the 1980's. Artificial life or alife has grown significantly since the invention of the computer. In the past decade alife has become increasingly useful as a tool for solving complex problems and for modeling natural life. There are several different sub fields to alife that will be explained in this paper. When the words "artificial life"� are spoken to someone who does not have knowledge in the area thoughts of intelligent robots and smart computers come to mind. These are examples of artificial intelligence, which should not be confused with artificial life. Artificial life occurs only on computers. Alife is merely programs created by computer programmers. These programs almost always have the purpose of modeling real life or solving a problem.

Alife, although it has been around since 1980, is only just becoming a true field of science.

Alife has not been used to its full potential nor will it be until we can completely understand the functionality of alife. The main focus of this report will be to examine the different aspects of alife used today. This report will also explain and show the usefulness of each of these areas.

2.0 Artificial Life In order to understand the uses of alife, what alife actually is must be understood. One researcher states that, "It is about the study of non organic organisms, of life like behavior beyond the creation of nature."� (Liekens) The term "alife"� encompasses a large array of different disciplines, so defining it to be one set idea is hard to do; however, all of these disciplines have several characteristics in common.

2.1 Definition First, lets take the word life; the Oxford Dictionary defines life as, "Life n. (pl. lives. pr. ~vz.) State...