The field of Artificial Immune Systems (AIS) concerns the study and development of computationally interesting abstractions of the immune system. This survey tracks the development of AIS since its inception, and then attempts to make an assessment of its usefulness, defined in terms of ‘distinctiveness’ and ‘effectiveness.’ In this paper, the standard types of AIS are examined—Negative Selection, Clonal Selection and Immune Networks—as well as a new breed of AIS, based on the immunological ‘danger theory.’ The paper concludes that all types of AIS largely satisfy the criteria outlined for being useful, but only two types of AIS satisfy both criteria with any certainty.

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