This year I was able to present at Code Camp! In my mind, Code Camp is meant to be an event where you try and to whacky things with code. So I decided to explore what the possibilities were of using Windows Azure to create Artificial life in the cloud. I ended up focusing more on the possibilities of farming out the work of calculating genetic algorithms to find optimal paths for the travelling salesman problem.

The first section gives a background on cloud computing and Windows Azure. If you are interested in an overview of Azure i recommend you watch my Remix presentation on Windows Azure instead, as I did it after this talk and had a chance to refine that section further.

The talk went well, unfortunately the video capture software I was using was eating up one of my cores on my dual core laptop :-( which meant the calculations ran slower than they should have. I apologise for the audio quality also, I didn’t have the drivers for my laptop microphone so ended up having to use my mobile phone to record the audio.

I hope you enjoy my talk!


Artificial life in the cloud, using Windows Azure on Vimeo.

The slides are also available 20090405 Codecamp - Alife in the cloud.pptx

Timeline for the talk

  • 0:00 - An overview of Windows Azure
  • 22:30 – Programming with Azure
  • 23:00 – Demo 1 (Hello World with ASP.Net)
  • 32:20 – Azure Storage
  • 35:00 – Architecting your solutions for Azure
  • 46:30 – Introduction to Genetic Algorithms
  • 53:00 – The travelling salesman problem
  • 1:01:00 – Learnings from trying to convert a single threaded library into a distributed Azure environment
  • 1:03:00 – Future work that could be done with A-Life

By David Burela