Old school graphical simulation inspired by genetic algorithms - I





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Uploaded on May 19, 2011

This non-interactive graphical simulation was written in 1992 on a 386 PC.
be sure to watch it in all its 480p glory.

This video was captured using dosbox.

the simulation was inspired by a description of genetic algorithms. It was an article in the July 1992 Scientific American, written by the father of Genetic Algorithms, John Holland.

He described a lot of things that I didnt understand at the time. But I got the idea that solutions to a problem can evolve over time, and that really blew me away. What a great idea. Parent solutions can get together and have children, which takes information from each parent. Then the best adapted children would have a better chance of survival.

these ideas were combined with a sun-smart message. if you don't want to die of skin cancer, you have to wear a hat and big sun glasses. the little white dots that flit on the screen are harmful UV rays. If they touch pink skin, then an individual will surely die. individuals can adapt, if they inherit the gene for a hat or the gene for large sun glasses (look closely) or the gene for thin cheeks, then they are more likely to survive to pass on their genes to the next generation. hence these beneficial traits become more wide-spead in the population.

it was written in microsoft quick basic 4.5, probably in DOS 5. It used some x86 turbo assembler libraries to speed up the graphics, which were supplied by a friend.

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