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Division of Informatics
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Research Paper #926

Title:Evolution and Development of a Central Pattern Generator for the Swimming of a Lamprey
Authors:Ijspeert,AJ; Kodjabachian,J
Date:Aug 1998
Presented:A shorter version of this paper was submitted to Artificial Life
Abstract:This paper describes the design of neural control architectures for locomotion using an evolutionary approach. Inspired by the central pattern generators found in animals, we develop neural controllers which can produce the patterns of oscillations necessary for the swimming of a mechanically simulated lamprey.This work follows experiments in which swimming controllers were evolved using a simple encoding scheme. Here, controllers are developed using the SGOCE evolutionary algorithm in which a genetic programming approach is used to evolve developmental programs which encode the growing of a dynamical neural network. The developmental programs determine how neurons located on a 2D substrate produce new cells through cellular division and how they form efferent or afferent interconnnections. Swimming controllers are generated when the growing networks eventually create connections to the muscles located on both sides of the rectangular substrate. These muscles are part of a 2D mechanical simulation of the body of the lamprey in interaction with water.

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