Welcome to Zooland 2.0-The Artificial Life resource

"What's the color of a chamelon put onto a mirror?" -Stewart Brand


by Chris G. Langton

Biology is the scientific study of life - in principle, anyway. In practice, biology is the scientific study of life on Earth based on carbon-chain chemistry. There is nothing in its charter that restricts biology to carbon-based life; it is simply that this is the only kind of life that has been available to study. Thus, theoretical biology has long faced the fundamental obstacle that it is impossible to derive general principles from single examples.

Without other examples, it is difficult to distinguish essential properties of life - properties that would be shared by any living system - from properties that may be incidental to life in principle, but which happen to be universal to life on Earth due solely to a combination of local historical accident and common genetic descent.

In order to derive general theories about life, we need an ensemble of instances to generalize over. Since it is quite unlikely that alien lifeforms will present themselves to us for study in the near future, our only option is to try to create alternative life-forms ourselves - Artificial Life - literally ``life made by Man rather than by Nature.''

Artificial Life (``AL'' or ``Alife'') is the name given to a new discipline that studies "natural" life by attempting to recreate biological phenomena from scratch within computers and other "artificial" media. Alife complements the traditional analytic approach of traditional biology with a synthetic approach in which, rather than studying biological phenomena by taking apart living organisms to see how they work, one attempts to put together systems that behave like living organisms.

The process of synthesis has been an extremely important tool in many disciplines. Synthetic chemistry - the ability to put together new chemical compounds not found in nature - has not only contributed enormously to our theoretical understanding of chemical phenomena, but has also allowed us to fabricate new materials and chemicals that are of great practical use for industry and technology.

Artificial life amounts to the practice of ``synthetic biology'' and, by analogy with synthetic chemistry, the attempt to recreate biological phenomena in alternative media will result in not only better theoretical understanding of the phenomena under study, but also in practical applications of biological principles in the technology of computer hardware and software, mobile robots, spacecraft, medicine, nanotechnology, industrial fabrication and assembly, and other vital engineering projects.

By extending the horizons of empirical research in biology beyond the territory currently circumscribed by life-as-we-know-it, the study of Artificial Life gives us access to the domain of life-as-it-could-be, and it is within this vastly larger domain that we must ground general theories of biology and in which we will discover practical and useful applications of biology in our engineering endeavors.

(with apologies to CGL)

by Jörg Heitkötter

Zooland is a scientific study of alife - in principle, anyway. In practice, Zooland is the currently best, since most complete, collection of Alife resources accessible via the Internet. [It should simply give you the sensation that someone had just found the light switch... -Ed.]

Although all of the current resources have been created by carbon-based life forms, there is nothing in its charter that restricts Zooland to include resources created by non-carbon-based life forms; it is simply that this is the only kind of life form that has, as of yet, been unable to send in URLs to their objects of study. [Oh boy; I guess we'd better delete this paragraph. -Ed.]

By extending the horizons of emperical research in Alife beyond the territory currently circumscribed by the zoo-as-we-know-it methaphora, the study of Artificial Life in the context of Zooland, gives us access to the notion of zoo-as-it-could-be, and it is within this mindblowingly larger domain that we must ground general repositories of Alife resources and in which we will discover yet another practical and useful application of internetworked hypermedia engineering endeavors. [Jeez... what the hell are you trying to say? -Ed.]

In Summary, [Good! -Ed.] Zooland is a HTML/World-Wide Web frontend to its Alife download collection plus some other tremendously fascinating places on the 'net; accessible via the unique interface to the default sites below. [Ah, a zoo-as-it-should-be! -Ed.]. Enjoy! Note that Zooland used to be located at http://alife.santafe.edu/ (aka Alife Online version 1.0) which has folded in June 2001.

Zooland USA:
Zooland Europe:
Zooland version 9.149 for free download:

Major references to Zooland

The following article appeared in SCIENCE magazine: NetWatch: Life and Death on a Computer, Science 1999; Volume 286, Number 5441, Issue of 29 Oct. 1999; p.867b.

The idea of playing god on computers took off 30 years ago, when mathematician John Conway invented the Game of Life, in which colored cells in a grid vie for survival. By now, applications of artificial life (Alife) are becoming commonplace: Social scientists use "evolutionary" algorithms to explore social interactions, for example, while biologists harness the equations for studying protein folding and lining up DNA sequences.

Try your hand at the creation and destruction of life at Zooland, a site where animals mate and compete, armies battle, landscapes bloom, and whimsical creatures learn to walk or swim. The site is targeted "somewhere between newbie/layman and die-hard expert," says Zooland mastermind Jörg Heitkötter, head of research at the Internet provider UUNET's subsidiary in Germany. After boning up on the subject with The Hitchhiker's Guide to Evolutionary Computation, co-authored by Heitkötter, you'll be ready to jump to Alife software programs for Macs, PCs, and UNIX. For instance, The Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma looks at trade-offs between cooperation and defection; in Sugarscape, civilizations evolve as tribes trade and bicker over stores of sugar (Science, 1 November 1996, p. 727); and in yet another game, lions stalk gazelles on a virtual savanna.

Zooland is also referenced in Edward J. Renehan, Jr., SCIENCE ON THE WEB - A Connoisseur's Guide To Over 500 Of The Best, Most Useful, And Most Fun Science Websites, Springer Science, New York, NY, 1996.

Mozilla Open Directory Award button

Statistics, Credits & all the fish

This is Zooland version 9.149. Copyright © 1995-2004 Jörg Heitkötter. All rights reserved. Please, send your additions, comments, and complaints on dangling pointers to the Zookeeper joke@alife.org. And don't take anything in this service too seriously; it's only science.

Thanks to C. Titus Brown for the new place on Alife.Org; Howard Gutowitz for the opportunity to work with him on the CA FAQ; (and the opportunity to give an "evening lecture on assigning octal numbers to files on unixoid file systems" ;-) ; Chris Langton for keeping me alive at Alife Online version 1.0; Nelson Minar for patiently handling my requests; Hendrik Tiemann for our joint paper; and everybody else I forgot to mention! (Apologies to Chris Langton & Douglas Adams for combining parts of their intellectual output with mine...) More thanx are here.


We make use of the following icons (courtesy of the Apache HTTP server distribution; that in turn is a distribution of Kevin Hughes' public domain icons ["Who remembers this anyway? It was cool in 1994..." -Ed.]:

  1. A Collection of Hyperlinks: [Collection]
  2. A research paper: [paper]
  3. An MPEG movie: [MPEG]
  4. A Hyperlink to an anonymous FTP Server: [FTP]
  5. A Mirror Site: [Mirror]
  6. A Really Hot Site: [HOT!]
  7. This program needs one of the following operating systems:

    Atari ST: [TOS!] PC DOS: [DOS!] Windows: [Windows] Macintosh: [Mac!] Unix: [UNIX!]

  8. You need a Java-capable browser to view pages marked: [JAVA!]



Agent-Based Computational Economics, ACE: is the computational study of economies modelled as evolving systems of autonomous interacting agents. Resources availabe at this continually updated site include surveys, annotated syllabus of readings, teaching materials, software, pointers to individual researchers and research groups, cfp announcements, etc.


Alife.Org: All you need to know about artificial life. ["If you cannot find it in Zooland, you'll probably find it here." -Ed.]

Alife database

Alife db: A Searchable Database for Alife Related Sites on the Net, where the data is automatically gathered by an intelligent search bot that scans the world wide web for Alife related pages. The searching robot analyzes the imported pages and creates (or updates) a database record for each. The New Alife Database is implemented in two versions: A searchable-database Java applet and an Html version. Both are freely downloadable. [JAVA!] ["If you cannot find it in Zooland, or Alife.org you'll probably find it here." -Ed.]


Afarm is Evolution in your pocket! by Mervyn (Psion) [UNIX!] [FTP]


AgentWeb: All resources on Agents on the Web at UMBC by Tim Finin [Collection]
InfoSpiders (ARACHNID) Adaptive Retrieval Agents Choosing Heuristic Neighborhoods for Information Discovery by Filippo Menczer and Rik Belew [UNIX!]
Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma web resources site: This site aims to be a comprehensive repository of informations on the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma, and furthermore on the representation, study and knowledge of cooperation (and evolution of cooperation) between agents, by Bruno BEAUFILS. If you have any questions, comments or remarks feel free to send it to prison@lifl.fr [Collection]

Alastair Channon

Alastair's home page contains details of his research into the evolutionary emergence of AI-Life, including introductory reading, publications and software. [Collection]

Geb is an artificial world containing organisms which evolve by natural selection, in a similar vein to Tierra and PolyWorld. Source code is available for Unix (Linux/SunOS/IRIX/HP-UX/...) & MS-Windows. [UNIX!] [Windows]


AlChemy: The AlChemy-Project by Walter Fontana et. al. is concerned with the development of complex metabolisms in simple Algorithmic environments. The aim is the identification of prerequisites of genomic evolution or - as Fontana put it - the conditions for "The arrival of the fittest". [Collection]

A.K. Dewdney

Biester [TOS!] [FTP]
Biomorphs (Bugs) by Joshua R. Smith [UNIX!] [FTP]
Core Wars [UNIX!] [FTP]
Core War [DOS!] [FTP]
L-Systems [TOS!] [FTP]
Hodgepodge machine by Jörg Heitkötter [UNIX!] [FTP]

Andrew Wuensche

Discrete Dynamics Lab: A program for researching the dynamics of finite binary networks and CAs. [DOS!] [UNIX!] [Mac!]
Discrete Dynamics Lab (Zooland download) [DOS!] [Mirror] [FTP]


Aquarium A-Quarium is a fish tank simulator based on Craig Reynolds A-Life program "Boids", by Ric Colasanti [DOS!] [FTP]

Artifical Life

Artificial Life by Matthew Caryl. [Collection] [JAVA!]

Artifical Life for Macintosh

Artificial Life for Macintosh by Alex Kasprzyk [Collection] [JAVA!]

Artifical Life Games

Alife Games: has released the Windows95/DirectX5 program bSerene with open source code under the GNU General Public License. bSerene is a first person shooter featuring artificial life monsters. The program bSerene is suitable for academic research into artificial life, it can be developed into a first rate game, or it can be played and enjoyed as it is. [DOS!]

Artifical Life Live

The Live Artificial Life Page by Robert Silverman. [Collection]

Artifical Life in Spanish

Artificial Life pages in Spanish by J.J. Merelo-Guervós. Acabo de montar una página Web con una descripción de lo que es la Vida Artificial, diversas herramientas relacionadas con la vida artificial, punteros a grupos españioles dedicados al tema, y recursos en ingles y español. [Collection]
Erik Max Francis Alife references [Collection]


Avida A 2D version of Tierra by Chris Adami, et al. [UNIX!] [FTP]
The Avida Artificial Life group headed by Chris Adami at The California Institute of Technology, CA, USA.



The Alife library maintained by Patrick Tufts. [Collection]


Biologie: The Great Biological Addable Link Collection ["Before you venture into virtual life, be sure you know what real life looks like" -Ed.]


Bouncing Biomorphs: Based on Scott Maxwell's work, this applet cycles through the rule space of biomorphs by Ben Schaeffer [DOS!]


Biota.Org: a special interest group of the Contact Consortium. [Collection]


Bitozoa, are small animallike creatures with eyes, neural network and flagella; created by Marcin Borkowski [Windows]


Boids by Craig Reynolds [UNIX!] [Mac!] [DOS!]
Java Boids by Craig Reynolds [JAVA!]
Boids for Windows by Jürgen Schmitz. Also available: The Boids screensaver. [DOS!]
Boids in Delphi delphi source and PC binary by Mattias Fagerlund. [DOS!]


Boppers by Rudy Rucker. The program shows creatures ("boppers") who are grouped into up to three colonies. The boppers have genes which are bitstrings specifying a number of parameters. Their fitness levels are determined in a co-evolutionary manner, as in a predator-prey system. The GA operators of cloning, mutation, and crossover are implemented. Different styles of boppers are possible, the main two types are "turmites" and "boids". The turmites are two-dimensional Turing machines, like more sophisticated Chris Langton vants. The boids obey a Craig Reynolds flocking algoirithm. [DOS!]


Bug-Fest: is an ALife eco-system simulation in which bugs compete for food and through darwinism slowly evolve their genetic traits to be able to compete with one another by Ed T. Toton III. [DOS!]


Biomorphs (Bugs) by Joshua R. Smith [UNIX!]
BugsX by Robert Gasch [UNIX!] [Mirror] [FTP]


Bugworld by Martyn Amos [UNIX!] [Mirror] [FTP]


Buzzz! A Boids-like after dark screensaver module by Simon Fraser [Mac!]



Cafun, an extemly nice cellular automata simulator written in Java 2 v1.4 by Andre Homeyer [Windows] [JAVA!]


Calife A 1D CA simulator by Rudy Rucker [DOS!] [Mirror] [FTP]


C.A.T. A Cellular Automaton Tool by GMD [UNIX!] [DOS!] [Mirror] [FTP]

Camazine's Macintosh Alife collection

Camazine A Collection of Macintosh Alife programs (Ballistic aggregation, Bifurcation diagram, Chaos in Logistic Growth and Cobwebbing, Collective Robots, Comb pattern, Dendroctonus, Differential adhesion, Firefly, Forest Fire, Fractal growth, Genetic algorithm, Gravitation, Hopalong, Henon, Lorentz, Lyapunov, Pattern CA, Random distributions, Spirals, Traveling Salesman) by Scott Camazine [Mac!] [FTP]


CelLab contains the executables and support files for John Walker and Rudy Rucker's Cellular Automata Laboratory for Windows. A DOS version of this program was released under the name CA Lab by Autodesk in 1989. by Rudy Rucker [DOS!]


Cellsim is a cellular automaton simulator by David Hiebeler and Chris Langton [UNIX!]


Cellular A cellular automata programming system by J. Dana Eckart [UNIX!] [DOS!] [FTP]

Cellular Automata

Swarming, Schooling, etc: Simple, opensource cellular automata programs for the Mac programmed in Cocoa. By using this simple language, anyone (even a nonprogrammer) can modify and extend the code by Gordon Worley's Red Bird Island Productions. [Mac!]

Cellular Programming

Evolution of Parallel Cellular Machines by Moshe Sipper


International Journal of Chaos Theory and Applications [Collection]

Chris Adami

Avida A 2D version of Tierra by Chris Adami, et al [UNIX!] [FTP]
Introduction To Artificial Life by Chris Adami. It's a book and CD-ROM package that was developed in a lab-oriented course taught at Cal Tech in 1995 and 1996, and simultaneously augmented by ALife research conducted there. The courses have been attended by an interdisciplinary group of students from backgrounds in physics, computer science, and the computational neural sciences. Prerequisite understanding of statistical physics and thermodynamics, basic biology, as well as familiarity with computer architectures and scientific computing techniques are assumed. The project is an attempt to bring together the necessary theoretical groundwork for understanding the dynamics of systems of self-replicating information, as well as the result from initial experiments carried out with artificial living systems based on this paradigm. Its intent, in providing this interplay between theory and experiment, is to lead us further along the road to discover not only thegeneral principles of the living state, but also to uncover aspects of this complex system that has remained hidden, or misunderstood, because of the impossibility to heretofore perform dedicated experiments. The CD-ROM contains the 1.0 Version of Avida Art A 2D version of Tierra byificial Life software designed to carry out dedicated computational experiments. The CD also contains a Java applet for doing Cellular Automata homework, plus HTML hyperlinks to Alife-based Web and other programs. November 1997/Hardcover/402 pages, includes CD-ROM/$59.95/ISBN 0-387-94646-2.

Chris Langton

Xca A self-replicating cellular automaton by Chris Langton [UNIX!] [FTP]
Cellsim by Chris Langton and Dave Hiebeler [UNIX!] [FTP]

Complex adaptive systems

CAS: is a set of software simulations for teaching concepts related to complex adaptive systems. Modeled systems include the formation of leaves on pine cones, predator-prey population cycles, neural networks for pattern learning, optimal resource exploitation, and simulated annealing for search by Rob Goldstone [Mac!]


Collidoscope: is an interactive screen saver, application, and wallpaper generator for Windows which delivers a unique cornucopia of computer generated kinetic art to the user's desktop. Multitudes of abstract objects appear to traverse the computer screen and collide and interact with each other, producing a wide variety of kaleidoscopic formations which are incredibly dynamic and visually captivating. Collidoscope is designed and engineered to provide hours of enjoyment without the boredom which accompanies predictability by George Maydwell's [Windows]


Coyotegulch: is Scott Robert Ladd's website, that features Java applets including source code for a variety of alife related programs. (Voters, LifeBox, Bumble, etc.) [JAVA!]

Craig Reynolds

Boids by Craig Reynolds [UNIX!] [Mac!] [DOS!]


Cryptobox: a project where Conway's Game Of Life is employed in the architecture of an anonymous distributed network. [UNIX!] [NEW!]


CRESS: Computer Simulation of Societies at Centre for Research on Simulation in the Social Sciences (CRESS)


Cyberbotics, Ltd.: Webots is a realistic mobile robots simulator developed by Cyberbotics. This software is intended for reseachers and teachers in the fields of Autonomous Agents, Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence. It models a real robot, Khepera, and a number of extension turrets, including several vision turrets, a gripper turret, etc. The user can program virtual robots using a C / C++ library which is compatible with the real robot. A 3D environment editor allows to customize robotics scenarios. [UNIX!]


David I. Bell

Highlife [paper] [FTP]
Spaceships [paper] [FTP]

David Hiebeler

Cellsim by Chris Langton and Dave Hiebeler [paper] [FTP]

Digital Biology

Digital Biology is now more than just a genetic programming tool for windows, but also has applet examples of evolving neural network architectures and real-time animation using mesh deformation, a physics model, and an ANN (artificial neural network) by Bill Kraus. [DOS!]


Highlife by David I. Bell [paper] [FTP]
Spaceships by David I. Bell [paper] [FTP]


Dublin City University Alife Lab in Ireland.


Drone is a tool for automatically running batch jobs of a simulation program. It allows sweeps over arbitrary sets of parameters, as well as multiple runs for each parameter set, with a separate random seed for each run. The runs may be executed either on a single computer or over the Internet on a set of remote hosts. Drone is written in Expect (an extension to the Tcl scripting language) and runs under Unix. It was originally designed for use with the Swarm agent-based simulation framework, but Drone can be used with any simulation program that reads parameters from the command line or from an input file and was written by Theodore C. Belding [UNIX!]

a joke production

... from Animals turn to Animats!

Copyright © 1995-2009 Jörg Heitkötter. All rights reserved.
If you find bugs in this service, please inform the zookeeper joerg.heitkoetter@gmail.com

$Id: index.joy,v 9.149 2004/07/06 22:35:06 joke Rel $


EC, Evolutionary Computation

The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to Evolutionary Computation: by Jörg Heitkötter and David Beasley [paper]
ENCORE: The Electronic Appendix to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to Evolutionary Computation" by Jörg Heitkötter [Collection]


EcoLab: The site includes software, documentation and papers published from the EcoLab software. Some of the papers touch upon artificial life, and since Ecolab is all about studying evolutionary processes - I think we need to understand evolution to develop artificial life, and correspondingly, we need artificial life to understand evolution by Russell Standish [UNIX!] [paper]


ELSY: Evolution of Learning Systems. 2D artificial life simulation with neural nets and brain modules. User draws his own map and breeds animals on it. Possibility to watch them running and their brains evolving in the same time. [Windows]


EvCA: The overall research done by the EvCA group is primarily motivated by the question: "How does evolution produce sophisticated emergent computation in systems composed of simple components limited to local interactions?" To try to find answers to this question, genetic algorithms are used to evolve cellular automata to perform computational tasks that require global information processing. In studying the results of these computer simulations, many more, related questions have sprung up, ranging from questions about the relation between pattern formation and information processing to questions about population dynamics and coevolution. Follow the links in the list below to find out more about these research projects, and how they relate to each other.


EvoLab needs Microsoft Windows 3.11 at least and and some knowledge of the German language since it's user interface is solely written in German by Martin Reiche [FTP] [DOS!]


EVOLUTIONz allows a user to construct, compare, observe, and explore dynamic artificial ecosystems through a 3D interface. The inhabitants of these ecosystems are artificial animals, each controlled by a neural net, which compete for limited resources and evolve over time. The program is meant as a fun tool for investigating learning and open-ended evolution.[Windows]


FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions

comp.ai.alife FAQ by Anthony Liekens (Ed.) [Collection]
comp.ai.genetic FAQ by Jörg Heitkötter and David Beasley (Eds.) [Collection]


Fishes of the Silicon Sea The World & I Magazine-June 1995, by Gene Levinson [Collection]

Flex CA

Flex CA: a life automata with flexible rules by Chris Gordon-Smith [DOS!] [FTP]


Floys: are territoral animals, and they defend their territory fiercely. An unfortunate stranger who happens to be passing by will not last long. Floys' behavior can be modified either by changing their properties, or by cycling between four pre-defined behaviors by Ariel Dolan. (Now includes new items such as Artificial Life in Tcl/Tk and web-oriented interactive CA applet. Also, all the source code is free to download.) [JAVA!]


Framsticks: Three-dimensional life simulation. Evolution of physical structure and control system (neural network). Spontaneous and directed evolutions possible. 3D artificial world and species preview. Application to download. By Szymon Ulatowski and Maciej Komosinski. [UNIX!] [Windows] [paper] [MPEG]



Gaia: Artificial Life, Genetic Algorithms, Learning Machines and more in Spanish by Manu Herrán Gascón [Collection]

Gene Spafford

Computer-Viruses: A Form of Artificial Life? [paper] [FTP]



Helix: is a tierra-like ALife system in which small self-replicating programs evolve and compete for valuable memory space by Ed T. Toton III. [DOS!]


Highlife by David I. Bell [paper] [FTP]

Hodgepodge Machine

Hodgepodge machine by Jörg Heitkötter [UNIX!] [FTP]
Die Mischmasch-Maschine in Java by Claus Claves [JAVA!] [FTP]


Irreducible Semi-Automated Combat

ISAAC an artificial-life "toy model" of land combat developed for the USMC by Andrew Ilachinski. (Kind of a SUGARSCAPE for warfare).



Jworld: A collection of Macintosh programs related to Alife by J. R. Kellet [Mac!]


Karl Sims

Evolving Creatures (9MB) [MPEG] [paper] [FTP]
Karl's homepage at GenArts, Inc contains all his work. [Collection]



Abteilung für Forstliche Biometrie und Informatik at The University of Göttingen, Germany. ["Only available in the German language" -Ed.]

LCA, The Lab for the Culture of the Artificial

LCA, University of Urbino, Italy.

LEE, Latent Energy Environments

Latent Energy Environments evolving populations of neural networks adapting to environments of increasing complexity, by Richard Belew and Filippo Menczer [UNIX!] [Mac!]

LEM, Logic for Eco-Modeling

LEM is a general purpose ALife simulator LEM (stands for Logic for Eco-Modeling). LEM relies on Logic Based General Systems Theory. It is implemented in Visual Prolog. It has high quality visual interface and high performance by Anju Dahiya and Serguei Krivov [DOS!]

LEGO Systems

Toybots: evolving LEGO robots by Henrik Hautop Lund.
Buildable Objects: evolving LEGO objects by Pabalo Funes and Jordan Pollack.

Life 3D

Carter Bays is the authority on 3 dimensional life variants.


LifeMN: the ultimate Moore Neighborhood 1-bit rule exploration tool by Ben Schaeffer [DOS!]

Life Search

Life Search by David I. Bell [UNIX!] [FTP]


Lithos is a stack based evolutionary computation system. Unlike most EC systems, its representation language is computationally complete, while also being faster and more compact than the S-expressions used in genetic programming. The version presented here applies the system to the game of Go, but can be changed to other problems by simply plugging in a different evaluation function. Source code and Windows executable are provided. [Windows] [HOT!]


Evolving Creatures by Karl Sims (9MB) [MPEG] [paper] [FTP]
Controllers for balanced locomotion for "human" characters by Jessica Hodgins et al. (included other athletic tasks) [paper]



Macintosh alife software, an index maintained by Bran Hill [Mac!] [Collection]


Macrophylon was developed to investigate the patterns and dynamics involved in the building of evolutionary trees. The general model employed assumes only certain specified ecological properties of populations and the basic principles of interactions between them, and is based upon Darwinian theory. [DOS!]


Matrem: is an Artificial Life program, that simulates an ecosystem on the computer. Creatures struggle for their own survival and for the survival of their species. The program uses seperate pieces of C++ code for each species, that are made by different people; written by Mathijs Romans developed to investigate the patterns and dynamics involved in the building of evolutionary trees. The general model employed assumes only certain specified ecological properties of populations and the basic principles of interactions between them, and is based upon Darwinian theory. [DOS!]

Mirek's Cellebration

MCell: (used to be MCLife), Mirek's Cellebration (MCell), 1-D and 2-D Cellular Automata viewer, explorer and editor by Mirek Wojtowicz now at version 4 [Windows]
MCell gallery: Cellular Automata Gallery, a graphical library of 200+ Cellular Automata by Mirek Wojtowicz [DOS!] [JAVA!]

Modern CA

Modern CA: includes a color interactive exhibit of a dozen reversable cellular automata rules including Parity Flip, Time Tunnel, and reversable variations of the Replicator (1357/1357) rule by George Maydwell


MbitiWorld "... a DOS and Windows based program with neural-net carnivorous/herbivorous agents that evolve (a bit), eat each other and so on..." according to it's author J.J. Merelo-Guervós [DOS!] [Windows]

Mitchel Resnik

LEGO, LOGO, and other creatures [paper] [Mirror] [FTP]
Starlogo A simple complex systems simulations implemented in logo [Mac!]
Behavior Construction Kits



Neoterics by Kevin Coble [Mac!] [FTP]


Netlife Evolving neural nets in an environment, by Christopher Busch [UNIX!] [Mirror] [FTP]

Nothing but Net Artificial Life

The DevCentre ALife site contains Peter Harrison's research projects in Artificial Life. The most recent example is BioMorph2, which he has been developing to eventually provide an open source implementation of Jeffery Ventrella's GenePool. He has also written a few articles regarding physics and ALife. The site still contains the work I have been doing since 1995. Source Code is available for all applications on the site. [DOS!]


Nugs An interactive graphic simulation of Darwinian evolution by Mike Wesemann. Nugs is based on an idea presented in the May 1989 issue of Scientific American in an article titled Simulated Evolution: wherein bugs learn to hunt bacteria, by A. K. Dewdney. I called it Nugs because it's the NEXTSTEP version of similar PC/Mac versions which are called Bugs. It is compiled for all NEXTSTEP architectures [UNIX!]



Cosmic Ancestry: Life comes from space because life comes from life. ["Huh?" -Ed.] [Collection]


PhD and graduate studies in Alife by Ben Marcotte. [Collection]


Predator/Prey: is a creature behaviour simulator, programmed in Java, for simulating Predator-Prey interactions. It has the potential to simulate a Lotka-Volterra model of population size oscillations. The creatures can display many forms of movement and behaviour of various complexity. [JAVA!]

Primordial Life

Primoridal Life Primordial Life for Windows 95/NT (x86). Watch animated "biots" evolve in a "biot eat biot" world by Jason Spofford. (BTW, the program comes in both a screen saver version and window version.) [DOS!]


Psim: Basic simulation of small objects which interact with each other (through eating, fighting, procreation, etc) in a 2D world. All properties of the objects can be defined by the user; contributed by Robin Van Loock [DOS!]



Revoworms created by Tim Tyler. Revoworms uses 729 states per cell. Primarily in order to keep down the number of states per cell down, it uses a strange neighbourhood - called the Doubled Central Triumphant neighbourhood. The 729 states are partitioned into 27 in the central region, and 3 in each peripheral region. The display appears to be using the Triumphant neighbourhood. I don't yet have display drivers for the Central Triumphant neighbourhood - a fact I compensate for by using additional colours. The simplest self-replicating reversible automata appears to be Fredkin's family of parity rules - which get by with two states per cell. However, the "organisms" only appear fleetingly, and the inverse of the automata has an unboundedly large neighbourhood - so running it in reverse is not a very practical possibility. As a consequence of this, other types of reversible self-reproducing automata are likely to prove of interest. [JAVA!]

Richard Dawkins

A Richard Dawkins homepage created by John Catalano.

Rudy Rucker

Calife A 1D Cellular Automata system for the PC by Rudy Rucker [DOS!] [Mirror] [FTP]



SARCASim, the Super Animation-Reduction Cellular Automata Simulator, by George Maydwell is a fast programmable cellular automata simulator, powerful enough to simulate hexagonal grid cellular automata. [Windows]


Savanna: is a self-organizing computer-application, which consists of a number of virtual lions and gazelles living on a virtual savanna. On the savanna the animals are born, form flocks, eat, reproduce and eventually die by Henrik Olsen [JAVA!]


Selection3D: an applet which allows users to breed 3-dimensional moving creatures (some of them look very nice). The population contains of 200 such creatures. The aim of the creatures, each with its own appearance, geometry and behaviour, is to be selected by humans. Creature which were not selected for a too long time, will die out. With mutation and recombination of existing creatures, new ones can bee generated. The program runs as an internet-application, so it gets the more interesting the more breeders are involved by Markus Holenstein. [JAVA!]


Selfreplicating shar archive by Jörg Heitkötter [Oh, man, gimme a break, this is for old-time hacker's only, right? -Ed.] [UNIX!] [FTP]

Social robotics & socially intelligent agents

Artificial Life approaches with Mobile Fischertechnik Robots (ALF) and other work on "Individualized Robot Societies" by Kerstin Dautenhan at University of Reading, UK.


Spaceships by David I. Bell [paper] [FTP]


Starlogo A simple complex systems simulations implemented in logo, by Mitchel Resnick et al. [Mac!]

Stephen Levy

Artificial Life: The Quest for a New Creation by Stephen Levy [Collection]


SUGARSCAPE: Simulation of social phenomena at Brookings Institute.


The Swarm Corp.: co-founded by Chris Langton et al. [UNIX!]
Swarm in Java by Alex Vulliamy [JAVA!]



TechnoSphere: is a 3D model world inhabited by artificial lifeforms created by WWW users around the world; a project by Jane Prophet [Collection]

Text creatures

Text creatures: Basically, the user types a string into a little text box, and the program generates a population of strings of random text. Members of the population mate with each other and produce offspring, and the offspring (over many generations) tends to evolve towards the text that the user entered. So if the user enters "hello" at the beginning of the game, by 200th generation, the great- great- great- great- etc.-grandson of "xcekk" might have evolved into "hellr" - or even "hello." The program evolves the text-creatures using a simplified Darwinian system of rules.

Texture Garden

Texture Garden: Reaction-diffusion applets by Tim Tyler [JAVA!]


Theory of Self-reproducing Automata and Life by Hendrik Tiedemann and Jörg Heitkötter [paper]

Thomas Ray

Tierra (Zooland download) [DOS!] [Mirror] [FTP]
MacTierra by Simon Fraser [Mac!]

Tim Tylor

HAL: "HAL" stands for "Hardware Artificial Life". It is a Java simulation of a cellular automata substrate supporting self-reproduction and universal computation. [JAVA!]
Lowlife: A mass-and-spring based system which displays a virtual world containing articulated, self-reproducing creatures. [JAVA!]
TimTyler.Org: [Check this out for more stuff from Tim. -Ed.]


Toybots: evolving LEGO systems by Henrik Hautop Lund.



All of the folowing resources are related to Valentino Braitenberg's imaginary vehicles introduced in his seminal book Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology
POPBUGS by Chris Thornton.
Braitenberg's Vehicles by John Wiseman.

Visions of Chaos

Visions Of Chaos is a freeware Windows application. It covers One Dimensional Cellular Automata, One Dimensional Totalistic Cellular Automata, Two Dimensional Cellular Automata, Two Dimensional Cyclic Cellular Automata, Ant Automaton, Attractors, Cascade One Dimensional Cellular Automata, Circle Fractal, Complex Fractals, Diffusion-Limited Aggregation, Digital Inkblot Cellular Automata, Escape Fractals, Feigenbaum Diagram, Flies, Forest Fire, Genetic Art, Genetic Bugs, Genetic Bugs 2, Graphical Iteration, Gravity Simulation, Iterated Function Systems, Julia Set, Light Gravity Simulation, L-Systems, Lorenz Water Wheel, Lyapunov Fractals, Magnetic Pendulum, Mandelbrot Set, Next Nearest Neighbour Cellular Automata, Plasma Clouds, Quaternion Julia Set, Reaction-Diffusion, Recursive Lattice, Sierpinski Triangle, Tiled Cellular Automata, Vertical Diffusion-Limited Aggregation, Wa-Tor and WarBots. Also creates 2D and 3D fractal movies and fractal music, by Jason Rampe.



WinCA A fast cellular automata simulator with Windows GUI, by Bob Fisch and David Griffeath [DOS!] [FTP]


WinGA A genetic algorithm simulator with Windows GUI, by Ian Munro [DOS!] [FTP]


WinLife This program allows you to play John Conway's "Game of Life". You can create patterns and watch them grow according to the rules of the game. Thanks to its powerful editing facilities, you can make changes to complex patterns without re-entering them, and you can save them to disk so that you can re-play them later, by John Harper [DOS!] [FTP]



Xca A self-replicating cellular automaton by Chris Langton [UNIX!] [FTP]


Xcsort An application (under linux and X11) which simulates a collective sort (by ants) based on J.L. Deneubourg rules by Stephane Wulc [UNIX!] [FTP]


Xlife The fastest life package (version 3.0) by Jon, Dan, Chuck and Eric [UNIX!] [FTP]


Yin Yang Fire

Yin Yang Fire a cellular automaton that computes spectacular fractal images