An Introduction to Developmental and Grammatical Computing
To say that the knowledge uncovered by developmental biologists has been under-exploited in natural computing is perhaps an understatement. Curiously, despite the relative lack of research attention that has been paid to these important biological processes, one of the fathers of Computer Science, Alan Turing, recognised the power of developmental systems and developed reaction-diffusion models to understand the mechanisms behind morphogenesis (the development of biological form) . In recent years it is heartening to see researchers beginning to close this gap and start to explore the power of developmental processes such as genetic regulatory networks for problem solving, and the use of approaches such as self-modification of phenotypes and developmental evaluation. The surge in interest in developmental computing is illustrated by the creation of a new track dedicated to Generative and Developmental Systems which began in 2007 at the ACM Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference [72, 321, 347, 526, 586, 623] and which has run every year since. A special issue of the journal IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation was also dedicated to this topic in 2011 . In this chapter the concept of developmental computing is introduced with particular emphasis on grammatical computing, which uses grammars as a generative process in order to create structures of interest.
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