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Engineering by Fundamental Elements of Evolution

[+] Author Affiliations
Or Yogev, Andrew A. Shapiro, Erik K. Antonsson

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

Paper No. DETC2008-50102, pp. 129-136; 8 pages
  • ASME 2008 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 20th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology; Second International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems
  • Brooklyn, New York, USA, August 3–6, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4328-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3831-5
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


The method presented in this note mimics two fundamental mechanisms from nature, growth, and development, for the synthesis of new three-dimensional structures. The structures were synthesized to support a load generated by a wind. Every structure grows from a single artificial cell following a set of genes, encoded in an artificial genome shared by all cells. Genes are a set of commands that control the growth process. Genes are regulated by interaction with the environment. The environment is both external and internal to the structure. The performance each structure is measured by its ability to hold the load and other additional engineering criteria. A population of structures is evolved using a genetic algorithm, which alters the genome of two mating individuals. We will present evolved phenotypes with high degrees of modularity and symmetry which evolved according to engineering criteria. Neither one of these two characteristics has been directly imposed as the fitness evaluation, but rather spontaneously emerge as a consequence of natural selection. We will argue that the types of rules we are using in this model are not biased toward any of these characteristics, but rather basic rules for growth and development.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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