History

Artificial Evolution (in French, Évolution Artificielle) is an association under French law. It was created in 1995 by Evelyne Lutton and Marc Schoenauer, who chaired it until 2003. Pierre Collet succeeded from 2003 to 2008. The association is now chaired by Nicolas Monmarché.

Originally, its aim was to "formalize" the French community, who started to meet regularly, in particular around the first French conference on the subject: EA'94. Since 1995, the Artificial Evolution association organizes the EA conference series (which takes place every other year). Following the first edition, the best papers form EA'94 (Toulouse) and EA'95 (Brest) have been grouped in volume 1063 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Springer). Then, the association organized EA'97 in Nîmes (LNCS 1363), EA'99 in Dunkerque (LNCS 1829). In 2001, at Le Creusot (EA'01), the conference became international, with more than 60% of papers coming from foreign researchers, and with an international program committee (LNCS 2310). In 2003, EA'03 took place in Marseille (LNCS 2936), then EA'05 in Lille (LNCS 3871), EA’07 in Tours (LNCS 4926), EA’09 in Strasbourg (LNCS 5975), EA’11 in Angers (LNCS 7401), EA’13 in Bordeaux (LNCS 8752), and finally the last edition took place in Lyon (EA'15, LNCS 9554). The next edition will take place in Paris in 2017 (EA'17).

In parallel, the Thematic Evolutionary Days "JETs" (Journées Évolutionnaires Thématiques) started in April 1998, thanks to a CNRS funding. They sporadically continued until the budget run out, and until it was decided to continue by volunteering and self-funding the participants' venue, while maintaining a free-of-charge service. From 2001, it was decided that the benefits from organizing the EA conferences would be used to help the JETs by funding the lunch, as well as travel fees for students whose lab could not take charge of the missions cost. This decision resulted in the JETs boosting again, with three or four meetings organized every year.

In June 2006, the first EA summer school was held in Yravals (Pyrenees) over three days, organized by Pierre Collet, Evelyne Lutton, Cyril Fonlupt and Jean Louchet. It was so successful that the following one was organized at the same place in June 2007. In 2008, it took place in Porquerolles, organized by Manuel Clergue, Corinne Jullien and Sébastien Vérel. Since then, every year, a new edition is proposed, always in a friendly atmosphere, privileging exchanges among participants and practical lectures.