Distributed Screen Saver Project

  • Posted September 10, 2008. Last modified June 7, 2010 by

A couple of days ago while trying to stay awake while my simulations ran for hours, I came across this website: Electric Sheep. It seems like a really cool idea. It is a “distributed screensaver” that makes use of genetic algorithms to progress and improve itself. If the people who are using the screensaver press a button they can rate the screensaver good. This is then used as part of the fitness function in the genetic algorithm allowing the good screensavers to be carried along into the next generations.

Once I get some time I think I’ll try it out. Since I’m on the topic of distributed screensavers… I seem to becoming more interested in distributed systems lately. The one that seems to be fascinating me the most is the DIY beowulf servers. I think this is because I just spent ages waiting for my last round of simulations because of one portion of the simulation that uses clique enumeration / maximal cliques. According to some papers I’ve quickly browsed over this problem is known to be hard to solve so perhaps I could make use of some sort of parallel solution to speed things up.

One comment on “Distributed Screen Saver Project”


    I just installed it on my computer. I agree with you now, this is a really cool idea. The Electric Sheep based on a free screensaver that anyone can download and run. It’s run by thousands of people all over the world. When these computers “sleep”, the Electric Sheep comes on and the computers communicate with each other by the internet to share the work of creating morphing abstract animations which known as “sheep”. As it runs you can vote on designs which you like, and the favorites survive to reproduce with a family resemblance, that’s why the flock evolves to please its human audience. You can also design your own sheep and submit them to the gene pool.

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