Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Grid or Die!

The contest began with 236 different programs, submitted by universities, government research departments and software companies from around the world. The objective of each entrant was to fight for control of 2500 computer processors.

The final battle saw Wenig's [NASA] program - created using genetic algorithms - take on a program designed by a computing student from Moscow State University ... NASA used a process that mimics natural selection to "evolve" the best fighting code, while the Russian chose to write his program by hand.

For the first 400 out of 500 cycles the NASA program, "Rogue" was clearly dominating and had control of 1500 of the 2500 processors. But in the final moments the Russian contender, called Cobra, quickly defeated Rogue. "In the last hundred cycles the Russian program broke out and slowly ate up the genetic algorithm," says Oberforger. "Nobody really believed it would." The key to its success may have been its ability to communicate efficiently and hence spread quickly, he says.

> new scientist > boingboing > smartmobs


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