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Dear all,
   I want to use ECJ for a research project. I was wondering if anyone
could provide me details about integrating ECJ with other software, written
possibly in Java. I want to dovetail ECJ with another simulator that is
written in Java. I saw on the website of ECJ that it has already been
dovetailed with MASON, which has been cited as a sister project of ECJ, but
actually it is a simulator of multi-agent systems. I want to integrate ECJ
with other simulators such as the famous TORCS (The Open Racing Car
Simulator). I was wondering if anyone has already tried such dovetailing of
ECJ with other specific or arbitrary simulators. Moreover, I would want to
know that what sort of expertise and tools would be required that would be
most suitable for such an integration.

Through the integration (dovetailing), I would want to be able to achieve
certain objectives. These are listed as follows:

1) Through the integration, I should be able to instantiate an experiment
in ECJ using one of the evolutionary computing algorithms that are already
implemented in it.
2) The instantiated experiment should have individuals that are relevant to
the agents in the simulation environment. This is to say that if the
simulator is a car racing simulator, then I should be able to instantiate
an experiment in ECJ, the members of which fully encapsulate the
representation of the controllers of the cars. Same goes for any other type
of simulator that simulates, for example, soccer players, or aircraft, or
panels for solar energy systems.

Perhaps I need to elaborate on this point a little bit more. Say that we
have a car simulator that can have cars run in it. The cars are normally
run by the means of their controllers (or microcontrollers). Suppose that I
want to evolve controllers for the car(s) object(s) using ECJ. Now if I
start an experiment in ECJ with a simple genetic algorithm, or genetic
programming, or any variant of these, I should be able to specify the
representation of the controllers to ECJ to encode as the genotype of the
individuals of my experiment.

I hope that I have explained this point well.

3) The dovetailing software should also be able to gather results and store
them either in the ECJ experiment, to be used latter, or somewhere in
itself from where it could be retrieved for analysis and reflection.

4) The dovetailing software should be general in nature. This is to say
that it could achieve the above stated objectives for any of the
evolutionary computing algorithms implemented in ECJ, and an arbitrary
simulator, plenty of which are available online.

5) The software should also be able to save the states of the experiment
and the simulator (if necessary) to be used at intermediate steps of
experiments (evolution), and be able to pass the states back and forth
between ECJ and the simulator if necessay.

6) The software should preferably have a nice GUI front-end so that anyone
with minimal exposure to computer programming could invoke various types of
experiments and play with them.

7) The dovetailing should also be able to leverage from the parallel
processing abilities of ECJ and of the simulator, if possible.

So this message is rather large. However, I shall be thankful to anyone who
could provide me hints on as to how to implement such an application
integration (dovetailing) software.

I was also wondering that although it is mentioned on the website of ECJ
that it is dovetailed with MASON, where could one find the implementation
of that dovetailing.

Thanks for reading this through,

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Best,
Muhammad Adil