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Seminar SS 2013

Understanding and engineering self-modifying systems in computer science and biology

Welcome to the seminar "Understanding and engineering self-modifying systems in computer science and biology"!

When?: Mo 16:15 - 18:00
Where?:AB 4, SR 117
Who: PeterDittrich


Week 1 : Introduction to self-modifing systems I     (Dittrich)
Week 2 : Introduction to self-modifying systems II   (Dittrich)

27.5    Ron Hübler, Ultraintelligente Maschinen


10.6    Luise Modersohn,  Selbstmodifizierender Code

17.6    Theresia Conrad,  Selbstreplizierende und Selbstmodifizierende Programme in Fraglets

24.6    Johannes Zimmermann,  Selbstmodifikation in bakteriellen Biofilmen
        Eugen Bauer , Viren als selbstmodifizierende Quasispezies

1.7     Stefan Lang, Konstruktion selbstmodifizierender Organismen durch Synthetische Biologie
        Lukas Klimmasch, Selbstmodifizierende Kunst

8.7     Cornelia Mühlich,  Autonomie  - philosophische und informationstheoretische Perspektive

Sprache / Language

Falls alle Teilnehmenden Deutsch sprechen, ist die Seminarsprache Deutsch. The seminar will be held in English, if not all participants speak German. Ausarbeitungen können auf Deutsch verfasst werden.


In this seminar we will study the principles of self-modifying systems such as biological cells, self-programming computers, or self-modifying robots and discuss how they can be engineered. In particular we will discuss what can happen when such engineered systems are allowed to freely self-modify themselvs.


In the first two weeks, an overview with some historical background on self-modifying systems and self-modifying machines will be provided by PeterDittrich . During that time, students will scan the recent scientific literature and select an interesting topic together with a recent paper. The second part of the seminar consists of talks provided by students. Make your own self-modifying machine! The seminar will also give the oportunity to make your own self-modifying (computational) machine. We will use a joint representation (e.g. bitstrings of length 128 bit), so that all machines can be placed into one environment, in which they even mutually modify each other.


Life Sciences / Biology

Computer Science


Banatre, J.P., Radenac, Y., Fradet, P. (2004): Chemical specification of autonomic systems. In: Proc 13th International Conference on Intelligent and Adaptive Systems and Software Engineering (IASSE’04), 72–79.

Barbieri, M. (2008). Biosemiotics: a new understanding of life. Naturwissenschaften, 95, 577–599.

Dittrich, P., Ziegler, J., & Banzhaf, W. (2001). Artificial chemistries-a review. Artificial life, 7(3), 225-275.

Fontana, W. & Buss, L. W. (1994). ''The arrival of the fittest'': toward a theory of biological organization. Bull. Math. Biol., 56, 1-64

Harding S. L., Miller, J. F., Banzhaf W. (2010), Developments in Cartesian Genetic Programming: Self-modifying CGP. Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines, 11, 397-439

Hilbert, M. and López, P. (2011). The world's technological capacity to store, communicate, and compute information, Science, 332, 60–65.

Hofstadter, D. R. (1979). Gödel, Escher, Bach: An eternal golden brain. Basic Books, New York, 1979.

Jefferson, S., Friedmann, D.P. (1996). A simple reflective interpreter. LISP and Symbolic Computation 9(2-3): 181-202.

Kampis G. (1991). Self-modifying systems in biology and cognitive science: A new framework for dynamics, information and complexity. Pergamon Press, Oxford.

Kantschik, W., Dittrich, P, Brameier, M. & Banzhaf, W. (1999a). Meta-Evolution in Graph GP. Genetic Programming, Second European Workshop (EuroGP'99), Proceedings, R. Poli, P. Nordin, W.B. Langdon, T.C. Fogarty (eds.), LNCS 1598, p. 15-28, Springer, Berlin.

Kantschik, W., Dittrich, P, Brameier, M. & Banzhaf, W. (1999b). Empirical Analysis of Different Levels of Meta-Evolution. Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC99), July 6-9, 1999, Washington DC, USA, vol. 3, p. 2086-2093, IEEE.

Koza, J.R. (1994). Spontaneous emergence of self-replicating and evolutionarily self-improving computer programs. Artificial life III, 17, 225-262.

Koza, J.R. (1992). Genetic Programming: On the Programming of Computers by Means of Natural Selection, MIT Press.

Lenski RE, Ofria C, Pennock RT, Adami C. (2003), The evolutionary origin of complex features. Nature, 423(6936):139-44.

Maynard Smith, J. & Szathmary, E. (1995). The Major Transitions in Evolution. Freeman, Oxford.

Monod, J. (1971). Chance and Necessity; An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology. New York:Knopf.

Nowostawski, M. (2009). EVM: lifelong reinforcement and self-learning. Computer Science and Information Technology, 12-14.

Schmidhuber, J. (1987) Evolutionary principles in self-referential learning, or on learning how to learn: The meta-meta-... hook. Diploma thesis, Institut für Informatik, Technische Universität München.

Schmidhuber, J. (2007). Gödel machines: Fully self-referential optimal universal self-improvers. In: B. Goerzel & C. Pennachin (Eds.). Artificial General Intelligence, p. 199-226, Springer, Berlin.

Stepney, S. (2012). Programming Unconventional Computers: Dynamics, Development, Self-Reference. Entropy, 14(10), 1939-1952

Tschudin, C. (2003). Fraglets - a Metabolistic Execution Model for Communication Protocols. In: Proceeding of 2nd Annual Symposium on Autonomous Intelligent Networks and Systems (AINS), Menlo Park, USA.

Turing, A.M. (1936), On computable numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Proc. London Math. Soc. (2), 42, pp. 230–265.

Yamamoto, L., Schreckling D. & Meyer T. (2007). Self-Replicating and Self-Modifying Programs in Fraglets. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Bio-Inspired Models of Network, Information, and Computing Systems (BIONETICS 2007), December 2007.

-- PeterDittrich - 07 Apr 2013

Topic revision: r6 - 2014-10-09 - StephanRichter
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