Evolution and Development of a Central Pattern Generator for the Swimming of a Lamprey

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  author =       "Auke Jan Ijspeert and Jerome Kodjabachian",
  title =        "Evolution and Development of a Central Pattern
                 Generator for the Swimming of a Lamprey",
  journal =      "Artificial Life",
  year =         "1999",
  volume =       "5",
  number =       "3",
  pages =        "247--269",
  month =        "Summer",
  keywords =     "genetic algorithms, genetic programming, neural
                 control, developmental encoding, SGOCE, simulation,
                 central pattern generator, CPG, swimming, lamprey",
  DOI =          "doi:10.1162/106454699568773",
  abstract =     "This article 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 that
                 can produce the patterns of oscillations necessary for
                 the swimming of a simulated lamprey.

                 This work is inspired by Ekeberg's neuronal and
                 mechanical model of a lamprey [11] and follows
                 experiments in which swimming controllers were evolved
                 using a simple encoding scheme [25, 26]. Here,
                 controllers are developed using an evolutionary
                 algorithm based on the SGOCE encoding [31, 32] in which
                 a genetic programming approach is used to evolve
                 developmental programs that encode the growing of a
                 dynamical neural network. The developmental programs
                 determine how neurons located on a two-dimensional
                 substrate produce new cells through cellular division
                 and how they form efferent or afferent
                 interconnections. 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 two-dimensional
                 mechanical simulation of the body of the lamprey in
                 interaction with water.

                 The motivation of this article is to develop a method
                 for the design of control mechanisms for animal-like
                 locomotion. Such a locomotion is characterized by a
                 large number of actuators, a rhythmic activity, and the
                 fact that efficient motion is only obtained when the
                 actuators are well coordinated. The task of the control
                 mechanism is therefore to transform commands concerning
                 the speed and direction of motion into the signals sent
                 to the multiple actuators. We define a fitness
                 function, based on several simulations of the
                 controller with different commands settings, that
                 rewards the capacity of modulating the speed and the
                 direction of swimming in response to simple, varying
                 input signals. Central pattern generators are thus
                 evolved capable of producing the relatively complex
                 patterns of oscillations necessary for swimming. The
                 best solutions generate traveling waves of neural
                 activity, and propagate, similarly to the swimming of a
                 real lamprey, undulations of the body from head to tail
                 propelling the lamprey forward through water. By simply
                 varying the amplitude of two input signals, the speed
                 and the direction of swimming can be modulated.",
  notes =        "http://alife.tuke.sk/projekty/abstract/abstract99.html#a34
                 Also available as University of Edinburgh Technical

                 IngentaPDF version crashes my acrobat reader",

Genetic Programming entries for Auke Jan Ijspeert Jerome Kodjabachian