Artificial Life Models in Software Review

Artificial Life Models in Software
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Remember Conway's Game of Life? Surely you must, if you are interested in this book. The Game has been around since the 70s. The editors have cultivated recent research papers that demonstrate how far the field has advanced. Reinforced by some pretty colour plates that depict artificial entities [dare we call them living?] in some surroundings. These include the modelling of bee flights through a garden, and simulated trajectories of a group of bacteria.
Nor is the Game of Life ignored. One plate shows it in three dimensions. The Game is played in 2 dimensions, with time as the third dimension. An obvious choice that gives interesting trajectories of the cells.
The narrative adds to the illustrations. By describing a variety of computer simulations [worlds?]. Where the experimenter can tweak many parameters, and watch her world unfold. Some worlds are impressively rich in complexity of observed behaviours.
The only drawback in the book is its skimpy index. A mere two pages. It should have been more detailed.

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The advent of powerful processing technologies and the advances in software development tools have drastically changed the approach and implementation of computational research in fundamental properties of living systems through simulating and synthesizing biological entities and processes in artificial media. Nowadays realistic physical and physiological simulation of natural and would-be creatures, worlds and societies becomes a low-cost task for ordinary home computers. The progress in technology has dramatically reshaped the structure of the software, the execution of a code, and visualization fundamentals. This has led to the emergence of novel breeds of artificial life software models, including three-dimensional programmable simulation environment, distributed discrete events platforms and multi-agent systems. This second edition reflects the technological and research advancements, and presents the best examples of artificial life software models developed in the World and available for users.

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