This was the first question popped at me when I went to talk to my professor about my Adaptive Systems coursework project. Sounded legit. I need to have my idea of what adaptivity is, how I’m planning to define and portray it in my project and how exactly I choose to analyse it. Luc is a brilliant prof, I think I can forgive him for his rude ways. He’s THAT brilliant.
Moving on to what I think adaptivity is, adaptivity is the ability of a system to restore itself to a stable state when it is projected to external pertubations. Yes? I don’t know if this is right or wrong, but this is what I think it is, and this is what I will be defining in my report.
My project involves generative art and how I would like to make the system adaptive. My initial idea when I entered his office and my idea of what I’m going to do when I got out after twenty minutes of “value adding” discussion is completely brilliant, that transformation of my idea. Well, he wasn’t particularly discouraging me from doing what I wanted to do, he was only trying to criticize me so that I come up with a better version of my idea by myself instead of it looking like Luc giving me ideas and expecting me to comprehend and apply it in my project.
Here’s what I thought I was going to do, a self organising artificial ecosystem that is projected to external pertubations and how eventually it picks up the stage of stability. As I was trying to explain to Luc about what I’m going to do, I figured it was filled with a lot of flaws but had scope for corrections. So, this ecosystem has two different types of organisms that kind of self generate energy for each other to survive. This has the ecosystem in equilibrium. The organisms, while moving around the ecosystem generates colours of different hue, and saturation that makes up for the ‘aesthetic’ creativity bit. There would be external pertubations introduced here, so that I could observe how well the system manages to go back into it’s state after the disturbances. I know, this is kind of vague and it only shows the mechanisms of the ecosystem as such rather than defining adaptivity. I hadn’t thought about how I was going to evaluate the adaptivity, what kind of parameters I was going to employ here, and what are the parameters that I was going to control and such. This is a huge flaw, Luc explained it with an example.
This is his understanding of my project. So, he wants to make a car and all he is interested in is making a car. Then pops up an adaptive systems coursework, he is least interested in working on adaptive systems coursework, but he really needs to do it. So he’s thinking how his interest in making a car could be extended into an adaptive project. He comes up with the idea that, oh may be the car could be dumped in water or the car could be projected to external pertubations by human beings like jumping on it may be? And he terms it an adaptive system.
Ouch, that hit me hard on my head and it reverted my perspective of my current project. Oh yes, Luc was right. What I’m interested in, is developing an artificial ecosystem that generates art. YES. And then when Paul asked me the other day during seminar what I was planning to do, this arbitrarily popped in my head about how I could maket his artificial ecosystem adaptive. Cool. Remember I mentioned Luc is brilliant? So, he mentions this…the system with car coud be considered adaptive if I had mentioned about the parameters I choose to control, like example the material with which the car is made may be? Oh yes.
I go on thinking about my project now, I could probably bring up the parameters that I control and the ones that I don’t. Plus, the evaluation bit? I think I could introduce a table that relates the colours/no. of organisms alive or dead/the pattern with which the organisms rearrange themselves to integers. With integers lined up in a table, it is easier to measure the levels rather than trying to observe the image/aesthetic effects. Of course, it depends from person to person.
Now, Luc picked a point in this as well. When you build a car, you expect it to be able to move. It is an understood point about the car, and not something special and notable. Oh yes, my system’s definition is basically self-sustainble and self-organising, bloody hell it is expected to do it, and this isn’t something special about it. Right.
What is going to be special about my system then?
Damn, time’s up. I’m going to tutor this kid on campus, Math and Science. Super excited 😀 I’ll get back and write about what I ended up deciding about ym project after the discussion.