The Garden: Evolving Warriors in Core Wars

David G. Andersen,
Project for 6.836, Embodied Intelligence.

The Garden is a new architecture for evolving Core Wars programs, short, assembly-language like creatures which battle in a simulated computer environment. With an agressive direct-compilation scheme, the Garden avoids nearly all external overhead for evaluating Core Wars programs. The resulting efficiency allows us to explore and compare different evolutionary methods at a scale (thousands of warriors) and number of generations (hundreds) that is nearly an order of magnitude more in-depth than previous research. By harnessing the speed of the Garden architecture, we are able to compare a number of different evolutionary strategies (initial seeding, evaluation, and mutation methods and parameters) in a quantitative manner.

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