Evolving Complete Robots with CPPN-NEAT: The Utility of Recurrent Connections
Proceedings of the 13th annual conference on Genetic and evolutionary computation, , 1475-1482, 2011
Abstract: This paper extends prior work using Compositional Pattern Producing Networks (CPPNs) as a generative encoding for the purpose of simultaneously evolving robot morphology and control. A method is presented for translating CPPNs into complete robots including their physical topologies, sensor placements, and embedded, closed-loop, neural network control policies. It is shown that this method can evolve robots for a given task. Additionally it is demonstrated how the performance of evolved robots can be significantly improved by allowing recurrent connections within the underlying CPPNs. The resulting robots are analyzed in the hopes of answering why these recurrent connections prove to be so beneficial in this domain. Several hypotheses are discussed, some of which are refuted from the available data while others will require further examination.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).