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Pages 602-603
First published 30 July 2014

Complex ALife Simulations: From Generating Life-like Behaviors to Predicting Real-life Phenomena

Orly (Kramash) Stettiner

Abstract (Excerpt)

Artificial Life relates to the study of life-like processes or methods for generating behaviors that may be interpreted as lifelike. ALife Computer simulations constitute a significant scientific tool for promoting scientific understanding of biological phenomena and complex natural dynamic processes. Significant leaps in computational force and software engineering methodologies now allow the design and development of large-scale biological models, which—when combined with advanced graphics tools—produce realistic biological scenarios. In some cases, these scenarios may reveal new scientific explanations and knowledge about real life phenomena.

Three state-of-the-art simulation projects are examined in the context of the contemporary philosophical debate on the scientific value of simulations, as we demonstrate the ability of some of these simulations to generate new emergent behaviors, making possible the prediction or hypothesis about the equivalent modeled real-life phenomena. Various considerations in the construction process of the simulation and its userinterface allow the formation of new features and unexpected behaviors, which may serve as speculations in the scientific sense and as a basis for further laboratory research.