Artificial Life and the Web

WebAL-1: A Workshop at the 14th International Conference on the Synthesis & Simulation of Living Systems (ALIFE-14)

New York City ~ 31 July 2014


The rapid development of the Web, and the availability of an ever increasing number of sophisticated APIs, web-focused languages and associated technologies, offers rich potential for developing novel A-Life related research platforms and applications.

Despite this potential, there are still relatively few people working at the interface of A-Life and the Web (WebAL). The purpose of this workshop is to bring together practitioners in this field, and those wishing to move into the area. We solicit contributions that address WebAL technologies, methodologies and applications.

The workshop will provide a forum for exchanging ideas, tips and information. By providing ample opportunity during the workshop for structured discussion, we aim to provide an opportunity for a genuine exchange of ideas, rather than just another "mini-conference".

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • ~ Distributed aesthetic evolution on the web ~
  • ~ Uses of the new HTML5 APIs for native WebAL ~
  • ~ Uses of search APIs for automatic fitness functions ~
  • ~ Human/Agent hybrid systems ~
  • ~ WebAL-enabled collaborative systems ~
  • ~ and more ~

Workshop schedule

Thursday 31 July 2014, Room 1E03, Javits Center

Schedule also available as a PDF file

Links to individual papers will be provided as soon as they are published on

Start End Speaker Title
09:00 09:20 Tim Taylor Artificial Life and the Web: WebAL Comes of Age (Workshop Introduction)
09:20 09:45 Jared Moore, Anthony J. Clark and Philip K. McKinley Evolutionary Robotics on the Web with WebGL and Javascript
09:45 10:10 Sebastian Risi et al. The Case for a Mixed-Initiative Collaborative Neuroevolution Approach
10:10 10:15 Luis Zaman (presented by Emily Dolson) Spotlight talk: EvoPopcorn: A Web-Native Distributed Artificial Life Simulation
10:15 10:20 Josh Bongard Spotlight talk: Crowdsourcing evolutionary robotics
10:20 10:25 Josh Auerbach Spotlight talk: Democratizing the evolution of real robots
10:25 10:50 Coffee break
10:50 11:15 Mizuki Oka, Yasuhiro Hashimoto and Takashi Ikegami Self-organization on social media: endo-exo bursts and baseline fluctuations
11:15 11:40 Kenneth O. Stanley and Brian G. Woolley On the Importance of Novelty to Interactive Evolution
11:40 12:05 Paul Szerlip and Kenneth O. Stanley A Proposed Infrastructure for Adding Online Interaction to Any Evolutionary Domain
12:05 12:25 Panel discussion: Planning online resources, journal article

Call for Papers and Participation

We invite submissions for both regular and quick-fire presentations.

For regular presentations, please send a 1000-word extended abstract.

For quick-fire presentations, please send a one-paragraph description of the work you wish to present.

All submissions should be sent by email to by 2 May 2014.

The extended abstracts of accepted regular presentations will be published as a Monash University Technical Report and made freely available on a dedicated web page. After the workshop, participants will be invited to collaborate on writing a forward-looking journal article on the topic, based upon discussions at the workshop, to be submitted to the Artificial Life journal.

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline: 2 May 2014

  • Notification of acceptance: 16 May 2014

  • Workshop date: 31 July 2014

Organizing Committee

  • Tim Taylor (chair), Monash University, Australia
  • Josh Auerbach, EPFL, Switzerland
  • Josh Bongard, University of Vermont, USA
  • Jeff Clune, University of Wyoming, USA
  • Simon Hickinbotham, University of York, UK
  • Greg Hornby, NASA Ames Research Center, USA


All enquiries regarding the workshop should be sent to

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