Electronic Evolution Project
This project aimed to create a simulation of evolution which could be used by children to demonstrate the mechanisms of evolution. The following report will look at the different aspects involved in developing such a simulator. Essential background knowledge will be presented along with a discussion of several other evolution simulators which were looked at. The design and implementation will also be discussed and analysed. As simulators are generally abstract imitations of real life there are key criteria which must be met so this report will also look at the finished program and analyse how well it runs and whether this reflects evolution patterns in the real world.
The first phase of research for this project was to look at evolution and the mechanisms which make it happen. The theory of evolution was originally proposed by Charles Darwin and his book The Origin of Species  was used in the research phase. Several Internet sites about the subject were also looked at . Research regarding existing evolution simulations was then carried out to explore other programs in the field.
The project was developed in two phases: the first was the simulator with a simple command line interface; the second added a graphical user interface.
Chapter 2 - Background This chapter will give an overview of the main inspiration behind the project, evolution. It explains the mechanisms of evolution that are modelled in this simulation and introduces some simulators that were looked at during the research phase of the project.
Chapter 3 - Design In this chapter the main features of the simulator will be outlined. It will also look at the workings of some of these features but will not go into any programming details. Several design decisions and issues will also be looked at here.
Chapter 4 - Implementation The programming details will be discussed in this chapter. Interesting parts of the simulation will be explored in more detail and some of the algorithms used will be considered. Some of the choices behind decisions will also be explained in this chapter.
Chapter 5 - Testing There were several features of the simulation that had to be comprehensively tested to make sure they worked correctly. This chapter will look at the main testing points within the project and outline the approach taken to ensure the simulation would work as expected.
Chapter 6 - Results After completion the simulation needed to be run through with many different scenarios to assess its behaviour. This chapter will outline runs of the simulation and present some results and observations.