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In this chapter I have described the design details of the Cosmos platform. Cosmos is an implementation of a virtual parallel computer that can simulate the concurrent execution of several thousand programs (limited only by the amount of memory available). The general design was influenced by Ray's Tierra platform [Ray 91], but there are some fairly significant differences between the two systems (as listed in Section 4.10). The following chapter is devoted to a detailed description and analysis of the system's behaviour during a single evolutionary run, where the memory (i.e. the grid) is inoculated with a number of hand-written self-reproducing programs. The results of a wide variety of further experiments with Cosmos are described in Chapter 6.

Tim Taylor