Category Archives: My Figure creatures

Ongoing experiments with software-based artificial life

Hurray! Another bilious bug defeated!



Last time, we left our intrepid heroes—our desperate digital desperadoes—trapped—at the mercy of the extremely rare and apparently invisible 2,147,483,646! The villainous variable had been masquerading as 2147483, by all accounts a hardworking and kindhearted value, who wishes to say that she is in no way affiliated with that more nefarious number. 2147483646, at last unmasked, still holds the entire system in his iron grip. The Figures and their programmer must somehow find a way to deal with this invidious integer.

For background, checkout the previous post on this topic.
Continue reading Hurray! Another bilious bug defeated!


Their nurture has become their nature



In posts on this topic, I keep saying I’m about to get to the interesting part…

posts, with optimistic titles like “Trembling on the verge.” Followed immediately thereafter by posts like, “How long has that been wrong?”

Bugs and issues keep dancing out from between my lines of code, and they all demand their share of time and attention. It’s reached the point where I’ve become superstitious about it, so I didn’t say any sort of fate tempting phrase like, “Almost there,” or “nearly done,” in the last post.

BWAHAHAHAHA HA HAHA!
Continue reading Their nurture has become their nature


That was scary!



There I sat, after longer than usual. I was waiting for the small population to stabilize. I’d just fixed a problem that had been there for weeks and months, a subtle bug I just hadn’t noticed. Fixing it meant that my little digital creatures, called “Figures,” would behave differently. Maybe the fix would break the system. Maybe they wouldn’t be able to stabilize anymore. Maybe the entire concept has been fundamentally flawed from the beginning. Maybe it’s all been a waste of time.

And then…
Continue reading That was scary!


Ep 168: Let’s get back to life



Let’s get back to life

Today, I share a bit of what’s happened with my digital organisms, my ongoing experiments with some software-based artificial life I wrote, and talk about where we’re going next. The general system is very close to where I wanted it in order to implement, oh, just so many experiments. Since I’m attempting to use what I created to study and perhaps even generate intelligence, it’s time to get back to researching how intelligence evolved in the world of biology.


Nearly there



Cycle after cycle, they all do their next command, like the clicking of a master clock, beating out they’re digital days.

Each little digital creature, called a figure, gets a turn. That’s just enough time to do one command. It’s been more than 13 hours, and the current population is somewhere just above 310,000,000. They were randomly generated, and used the slow internal I/O—they can only read write cut or paste one number at a time.
Continue reading Nearly there


It’s working! … oh… wait…



The system has turned into a joy to work with.

One of my populations, precodedshort.pop, isn’t acting how it used to. I have a vague memory of doing some experiment, and accidentally saving a population in that file, overwriting what was there. Yeah, I even recall how I could get it back, and thinking how it didn’t matter anyway, I’m done with it.

Right, the other possibility is that something got messed up somewhere in my system, and it isn’t running right, or the same, somehow. However, every other population is acting how it used to. Before I remembered, just now, that I’d changed precodedshort.pop, I wanted to do another test of the system, to be certain all was well.
Continue reading It’s working! … oh… wait…


A monster in the realm!



The internal i/o is a mess—the methods that allow the digital creatures to read and write to and from themselves and each other. I’ve always planned on changing it. Each figure, (one of the digital creatures I created) gets a turn, one after another, enough time to execute one instruction. But, no matter how much they are reading or writing, it all happens in one instruction.

That’s too fast!

If one figure is deleting another one, if it happens all at once, the one getting deleted doesn’t have a chance to react. There’s no defense.

I thought I’d test this out, so I did something like core war, and stuck in a figure that does nothing but empty out the memory of other figures. It’s a monster, and all it does is kill.

In the following output, each “n” stands for “null” A letter n means that there is nothing in that slot. Otherwise, you’ll see the size of the given figure. There are 4 slots, and a maximum population size of 3—if every slot is filled, the death object takes out the oldest figure. The figures that copy themselves, the replicators, are 9 numbers long. The monster is only 6. The replicators take three turns to make a new copy. The monster kills a figure every two turns.

Taking all bets!
Continue reading A monster in the realm!