These are notes taken during the Sandbox Session on Evolution on the Web at BEACON Congress 2014, August 18, 2014, at Michigan State University.
Organizers: Charles Ofria, Jared Moore, Luis Zaman, Anthony Clark
BoxCar2D is the perhaps most common example of evolution on the web and can be found at boxcar2d.org. Picbreeder(picbreeder.org) is another popular evolutionary website focused on evolving CPPN’s to draw 2D pictures. A follow-on, Endless Forms(endlessforms.com) adds a 3D element to those found in Picbreeder.
On the education side, EvoGrader (Website) is an online assessment tool for grading writing assignments about evolution.
Evolve-a-Robot (evolve-a-robot.github.io) is an online evolutionary environment that demonstrates the concepts of evolutionary robotics in a 3D physics engine that runs completely in a web-browser with no need for installs or additional software.
Web-Avida (currently under development) brings the Avida digital evolution platform to the web and should be released soon. Built with the EA-Lib (https://github.com/dknoester/
Citizen Evolutionary Science: Setup a web-portal for citizens to contribute data about species in locations in such a way that scientists could work with the data. Thinking of ecological data on a grand scale.
Move education applications to the web: Tie in educational goals directly with the online simulations. Structure the apps in such a way that they can gather data to allow for an increased understanding of evolution.
The following sections briefly describe the technologies discussed in the session.
Website An HTML presentation engine that allows you to embed many different objects in a presentation. A “Powerpoint for the web”, this browser-based presentation engine allows for some different ways to move through a presentation.
Website Derivative of the OpenGL graphics engine to allow for 2D/3D graphics on the web.
Website Data-driven visualization engine that works within the DOM of web pages to present data in charts, divs, or 3D visualizations.
Website A library that allows for connecting multiple instances of a web-browser together. Check out Luis Zaman’s demo at 22.214.171.124:8010.
Website Web-server Installation