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A Compiler for CPPNs: Transforming Phenotypic Descriptions Into Genotypic Representations

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Biologically-inspired AI methods like evolutionary algorithms have shown great promise in creating complex structures yet these structures still pale in comparison to their natural counterparts. The recently introduced generative encoding compositional pattern producing networks (CPPNs), which is based on the principles of how natural organisms develop, narrowed this gap by showing that it is possible to artificially evolve life-like patterns with regularities at a high-level of abstraction. As these generative and developmental systems (GDS) are asked to evolve increasingly complex structures, the question of how to start evolution from a promising part of the search space becomes more and more important. To address this challenge, we introduce the concept of a CPPN-Compiler, which allows the user to directly compile a high-level description of the desired starting structure into the CPPN itself. In this paper, as proof of concept, the CPPN-Compiler is able to generate CPPN-encoded representations from vector-based images that can serve as the starting point for further evolution. Importantly, the offspring of these compiled CPPNs show meaningful variations because they directly embody important domain-specific regularities like symmetry or repetition. Thus the results presented in this paper open up a new research direction in GDS, in which specialized CPPN-Compilers for different domains could help to overcome the black box of evolutionary optimization.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 AAAI Fall Symposium Series - How Should Intelligence be Abstracted in AI Research.
Number of pages7
Publication date2013
ISBN (Print)978-1-57735-640-0
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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