Darwin on the track

From The Economist article:

WHILE watching the finale of the Formula One grand-prix season on television last weekend, your correspondent could not help thinking how Darwinian motor racing has become. Each year, the FIA, the international motor sport’s governing body, sets new design rules in a bid to slow the cars down, so as to increase the amount of overtaking during a race—and thereby make the event more interesting to spectators and television viewers alike. The aim, of course, is to keep the admission and television fees rolling in. Over the course of a season, Formula One racing attracts a bigger audience around the world than any other sport.

Read the full article here.

Digital Archeology Reveals Dinosaur Details using Genetic Algorithms

From the article of LiveScience.com:

The pick and shovel can go only so far in digging up details about dinosaurs. Now supercomputers are revealing knowledge about their anatomy otherwise lost to history.

(…)

For example, if the muscles connected to the thigh bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex were short, that would suggest it was angled vertically as in humans. However, if they were very long, it could have been angled horizontally as in birds.

dino

Initial attempts to randomly decipher which pattern of muscle activation works best result almost always in the animal falling on its face, explained computer paleontologist Peter Falkingham at the University of Manchester. But the scientists employ “genetic algorithms,” or computer programs that can alter themselves and evolve, and so run pattern after pattern until they get improvements.

Eventually, they evolve a pattern of muscle activation with a stable gait and the dinosaur can walk, run, chase or graze, Falkingham said. Assuming natural selection evolves the best possible solution as well, the modeled animal should move similar to its now extinct counterpart. Indeed, they have achieved similar top speeds and gaits with computer versions of humans, emus and ostriches as in reality.

Read the full article.

Evolutionary Computation

There is a portuguese version of this post.

Evolutionary computing (EC) has been widely used in recent years, and every year there are new applications for the techniques developed, despite being a relatively new area, few people are giving attention to that (at least in my vision and I will explain why) probably will have a promising and revolutionary future in relation to how we can generate innovation and even learn from it, especially as it relates to Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs).

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Considerations regarding Karl Popper’s philosophy of science and Evolutionary Algorithms

There is a portuguese version of this post here.

I am a big fan of the Karl Popper’s philosophy of science, so I decided to write something about what I find interesting in his philosophy, especially in relation to rational criticism, to talk later a little bit of what I think about this in relation to Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs).

karlpopper

Popper, in his book “In Search of a Better World” (the original title is “Auf der Suche nach einer besseren Welt“), cites the importance of rational criticism in science and combat the dogmatism of belief in the scientific authority. For me, this idea, despite intrinsic in the thoughts of many philosophers, was not so clearly exposed as Popper did, the clarity with how Popper gives us the insight about how the science grows and improves through rational criticism is remarkable, and I’ll try to summarize here what he tried to explain for almost whole life.

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Genetic Algorithms help us to understand how we see

There is a very interesting article on the insciences.org, it talks about the use of a Genetic Algorithm to create images used to test people brain performance:

The team developed a ‘genetic algorithm’, based on a simple model of evolution, that can breed a range of images and visual stimuli which were then used to test people’s brain performance. By using artificial intelligence to design the test patterns, the team removed any likelihood of predetermining the results which could have occurred if researchers had designed the test pictures themselves.

Read the full article or see the created images.

Considerações sobre a filosofia da ciência de Karl Popper e Algoritmos Evolutivos

Sou um grande fã da filosofia da ciência de Karl Popper, desta maneira, resolvi escrever algo sobre o que eu acho interessante na filosofia dele, principalmente em relação à crítica racional, pra depois falar um pouco do que acho sobre isto em relação aos algoritmos evolutivos em geral.

Popper, em seu livro Em busca de um mundo melhor (o título original é “Auf der Suche nach einer besseren Welt“), cita a importância da crítica racional na ciência e combate o dogmatismo na crença da autoridade científica. Para mim, esta idéia, apensar de intrínseca no pensamento de muitos filósofos, não foi tão claramente exposta como Popper o fez, a clareza com que Popper nos apresenta a idéia sobre como a nossa ciência cresce e melhora através da crítica racional é notável e vou tentar resumir aqui o que ele tentou explicar por quase uma vida.

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A beautiful example of cooperation between theory and experiment, the new Boron form

The NY Times has a nice article talking about the discovery of a new Boron form using Genetic Algorithms:

Now researchers led by Dr. Oganov have added to the actual discoveries. They have found a form of boron that is nearly as hard as diamond.

This discovery even illustrates the power of the idea of evolution, using a so-called genetic algorithm to decipher the structure of the new boron crystal.

“This work is a beautiful example of cooperation between theory and experiment,” said Aitor Bergara, a physicist at the University of the Basque Country in Spain. Dr. Bergara was not involved with the research, which was published online by the journal Nature.

Read the full article.