Can Computers Weave a More Perfect Web?
Leitzke, Taren J.
Billman, Kayla D.M.
Reukema, Sarah E.
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We designed a rule-based computer model that used genetic algorithms to create spider webs that closely matched those found in nature. We recreated the classic, 2-dimensional orb web, which is typical of Araneus spiders commonly found in Wisconsin. Using the Java programming language, we closely recreated a model described by Krinkand Vollrath (1997), and then improved upon it by developing increasingly sophisticated simulations that incorporated web-building costs and prey-capture benefits. Four different versions of the simulation program were created so that each version “wove” its webs following different rules. To provide data for comparison, a complimentary field project collected and measured actual spider webs.