The course will cover a general presentation of the field of artificial life, and its implication for related fields. Some key concepts will be reviewed, among them: emergence; evolution (open ended e., measuring e.); evolvability; autopoiesis; fitness (intrinsic and extrinsic); neutral networks; qualitative versus quantitative study of a system. A number of open problems in science that have been inspiring work in the field will be reviewed. Some will be theoretical and speculative, others practical and pragmatic. Among such problems: (a) Nature of life. What is the difference between living and non living? How does life arise from non living? (b) Nature of evolution. Does evolution has an arrow? Is natural evolution qualitatively different from synthetic one? (c) How does speciation happen? (d) What states can a living system take? A number of mathematical and abstract models that has been used in the field of artificial life, will be presented. When possible those models will be presented through a computer simulation of them. Students will be invited to: (a) install and use existing models; (b) modify the parameters of such models, exploring the space of possible behaviour, and trying to explain the behaviour on the light of what learned in class; (c) modify the computer code of at least one of those programs, extending it; (d) prepare and present a new program. The models should include: agent based models (among others Tierra and Avida), cellular automaton (among others Cellular Potts Model), Boolean networks, NK networks, artificial chemistries (and the use of Chemical Organisation Theory to study them). Finally a number of applications of those models to existing problems will be presented. Among them: the relation between epidemiology and the social network; an HIV model using Chemical Organisation Theory; a model of embryology using Cellular Potts Model.
Competências genéricas a atingir
. Competência em análise e síntese; . Competência para resolver problemas; . Competência em aprendizagem autónoma; . Criatividade; . Competência em investigar; . Competência em comunicação oral e escrita; . Competência em trabalho em grupo; . Competência em raciocínio crítico; . Compromisso ético; . Competência em aplicar na prática os conhecimentos teóricos; (por ordem decrescente de importância)
Horas lectivas semestrais
total horas lectivas
Método de avaliação
Bibliografia de referência
The course will use as its background material the actual academic papers that were published, focusing on the key papers that represented turning points, and milestones in the field.
Método de ensino
Preparing to each lesson, the students will be invited to read few papers (2-4) that will then be discussed and deepened during the class work.