EHW Home

Welcome to the website of the IEEE Task Force on Evolvable Hardware.

Goals of the Evolvable Hardware Task Force are:

  • To promote and educate researchers in the broad areas associated with Evolvable Hardware theory and design.
  • To provide a forum for Evolutionary Computation researchers in evolvable hardware.

What is Evolvable Hardware?

The objective of evolvable hardware (EHW) is to design systems that can self-adapt as necessary to compensate for changing operational environments or to survive and recover from faults. EHW uses simulated evolution to search for new hardware configurations. The evolution is performed by a variety of different stochastic search algorithms such as genetic algorithms (GAs), evolutionary programming (EP) or evolution strategies (ES). The EHW is implemented on reconfigurable devices such as field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), field programmable analog arrays (FPAAs) or field programmable transistor arrays (FPTAs).

Each device is configured with a binary bit-stream that determines the architecture (and thus function) and the purpose of the simulated evolution is to find the best performing architecture for the given application. EHW techniques have been successfully used for both original system design and online adaptation of existing systems.

Why might I use Evolvable Hardware?

Evolvable hardware techniques enable self-reconfigurability and adaptability of programmable devices and thus have the potential to significantly increase the functionality of deployed hardware systems. Evolvable hardware is expected to have major impact on deployable systems for space missions and defense applications that need to survive and perform at optimal functionality during long duration in unknown, harsh, and/or changing environments.

Evolvable hardware is also expected to greatly enrich the area of commercial applications in which adaptive information processing is needed; such applications range from human-oriented hardware interfaces and internet adaptive hardware to automotive applications.

Where can I start to learn about Evolvable Hardware?

There are a few books that highlight, to varying degrees, evolvable hardware:

  • "Evolutionary Electronics" from Zebulum et. Al., CRC Press
  • "Genetic Programming", From Koza et Al, MIT Press
  • "Evolvable Components", from Sekanina, Springer Verlag
  • "Hardware Evolution: Automatic design of electronic circuits in reconfigurable hardware by artificial evolution", from Thompson, Springer-Verlag

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