algorithmic modeling for Rhino



Octopus is a plug-in for applying evolutionary principles to parametric design and problem solving. It allows the search for many goals at once, producing a range of optimized trade-off solutions between the extremes of each goal.

Also see octopus.E for custom evolutionary algorithms.


Download the latest version on food4rhino

It is part of a range of tools developed at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and Bollinger+Grohmann Engineers.


  • search for single goal + diversity of solutions
  • search for best trade offs between 2 to X goals
  • improve solutions by similarity-goals
  • choose preferred solutions during a search
  • change objectives during a search
  • solutions' 3d models for visual feedback
  • recorded history
  • save all search data within the Grasshopper document
  • save a solution as a Grasshopper State
  • export to text or text files

Octopus introduces multiple fitness values to the optimization. The best trade-offs between those objectives are searched, producing a set of possible optimum solutions that ideally reach from one extreme trade-off to the other.

Based on SPEA-2 and HypE from ETH Zürich and David Rutten's Galapagos User Interface. Developed by Robert Vierlinger in cooperation with Christoph Zimmel, and Bollinger+Grohmann Engineers.


To install:

  • Copy the .gha and .dll file into the Grasshopper components folder 
  • Right-click the file > Properties > make sure there is no "blocked" text
  • Restart Rhino and Grasshopper


Some examples are provided here

New commented examples and a brief manual are provided in the download of octopus on food4rhino.

Location: Vienna
Members: 166
Latest Activity: yesterday

Discussion Forum

Error in ComputeObjectives

Hi Robert,In the octopus' error log, the following error pops up:"Error in ComputeObjectives, when retrieving objective values / constraints  Error: Object reference not set to an instance of an…Continue

Started by Yassin Ashour Feb 22.

Population and mutation strategies 2 Replies

Dear Robert,Thank you for the wonderful tool! I am currently developing grasshopper tools that will make sense of the results of that are churned out by Octopus, i.e. visualization tools, as part of…Continue

Tags: octopus

Started by Yassin Ashour. Last reply by Yassin Ashour Feb 6.

Is there a way to control the octopus do not generate new decision variables until it received the evaluation feedbacks?

Hi,I carried out an optimization based on energy simulation data using Octopus. As the simulation process is time consuming, sometimes the evaluation index has not been calculated and the output of…Continue

Started by Han Yunsong Dec 27, 2014.

Fittest Added

Hi All,I am newbie in octopus and still confuse to decide the cadidates based on the fittest. I have a question, what is "fittest added" in navigation statistics and how to set it? I always having it…Continue

Started by rendy perdana khidmat Dec 21, 2014.

Comment Wall

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You need to be a member of Octopus to add comments!

Comment by Israa El-Maghraby on March 1, 2015 at 12:09

I have another conern my simulation does not go far than ZERO generations .. Despite i made it 3 and population size 4 .. just as a test ... Could you think what might be the problem !

Comment by Israa El-Maghraby on February 28, 2015 at 13:01

I have a question concerning EVALPOOLSIZE ... what does determine its values.. i made population size 4 and max number of generation is 3 ... does the values of these parameters affect it !.. I really don't understand it clearly 

Thanks in advance

Comment by Israa El-Maghraby on January 28, 2015 at 13:33

Ok (Y) , Thanks a lot :) 

Comment by Robert Vier on January 28, 2015 at 13:27


you are in generation 0. The graphs will be shown in the next ones.


Comment by Israa El-Maghraby on January 28, 2015 at 12:44

Hello Robert, Hope everything is great with you, I have a little problem that the Convergence Graphs and Hypervolume Graph  don't appear in the optimization process ... I designed an office unit with a shading element. The parameters are the geometrical properties of the shading element. The targeted performance is DAYLIGHT AUTONOMY, PMV AND ENERGY CONSUMPTION , I used DIVA for that. So What do you think might be the problem.
P.S. when I run the GH files came with the OCTOPUS . it works just fine and both graphs appear. Thanks in advance 

Comment by fred labbe on December 8, 2014 at 8:47

Thanks Robert!

Comment by Robert Vier on December 8, 2014 at 8:41

works with the latest version, too!

Comment by fred labbe on December 8, 2014 at 7:18

Does the latest version of Octopus work with Grasshopper 0.9.0076.... download page says it is compatible with 0.9.0075.

If only works with 0.9.0075 any tips on where to find thta version of Grasshopper? 


Comment by Dan Hou on September 25, 2014 at 1:55

What is the algorithm to calculate hypervolume metric? Is it HSO?

Comment by Andreas Wilde on July 30, 2014 at 3:12

Can Octopus pick the best solution itself? Where?

How does Octopus deal with multicriteria weighting and multicriteria scores?


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