In his PhD dissertation (PDF), Tom De Smedt has looked at creativity and the thought-provoking question if and how machines can be creative. Why do ants seem so purposeful and creative when they are cooperating to harvest food; or where did spiders learn to make such intricate webs, while nature is inherently “blind” and without purpose? How does creativity work in humans? How exactly do we think new thoughts and construct creative solutions, which we unconsciously apply to everyday problems such as luring the housecat down from a tree, or (rarely and with much more conscious effort) to come up with a new theory of physics? To answer such questions we used computational models of creativity.
To this end, we have in turn developed two open source tools: Pattern and NodeBox for OpenGL. NOGL generates 2D animations based on Python programming code. It is useful for example for agent-based modeling (e.g., to study virtual ecosystems), data visualization (e.g., to study commonsense networks) and small games. Pattern is a Python toolkit for data mining, multilingual natural language processing, sentiment analysis, machine learning, graph analysis and visualization.