This article reviews the growing body of scientific work in artificial chemistry. First, common motivations and fundamental concepts are introduced. Second, current research activities are discussed along three application dimensions: modeling, information processing, and optimization. Finally, common phenomena among the different systems are summarized. It is argued here that artificial chemistries are “the right stuff” for the study of prebiotic and biochemical evolution, and they provide a productive framework for questions regarding the origin and evolution of organizations in general. Furthermore, artificial chemistries have a broad application range of practical problems, as shown in this review.
This article demonstrates a new method of programming artificial chemistries. It uses the emerging capabilities of the system's dynamics for information-processing purposes. By evolution of metabolisms that act as control programs for a small robot one achieves the adaptation of the internal metabolic pathways as well as the selection of the most relevant available exteroceptors. The underlying artificial chemistry evolves efficient information-processing pathways with most benefit for the desired task, robot navigation. The results show certain relations to such biological systems as motile bacteria.