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: 210
Latest Activity: 15 hours ago

Discussion Forum

Installing Octopus

Hi All,I have downloaded the octopus package and copied the .gha and .dll files as instructed. I am trying to see whether there is a blocked text in the properties but don't know how to make this…Continue

Started by Ram Joshi 15 hours ago.

I want to use the tree data test 3 Replies

I want more data smallest…Continue

Started by 未知. Last reply by 未知 Oct 28.

Preference-based optimization

Hi Robert,I notice an very interesting function of Octopus that considers the users' preferences. This is useful in architectural form optimization problem. I'm now into the study with regard to the…Continue

Started by Dan Hou Oct 7.

Wait for Excel Calculation 1 Reply

Hello everyone,I am trying to use Octopus for an optimization where I calculate one solution in Grasshopper - the second is sent to Excel via TT Toolbox and calculated there and after it sent back to…Continue

Started by Thomas Lechner. Last reply by Sebastian Sautter Oct 6.

Comment Wall

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

Comment by Andy Chen on August 10, 2015 at 20:21

Hi guys,i just start to use octopus,and i want to know how it works.Where can i find the essay or articals?Thanks a lot!

Comment by Hairault on July 10, 2015 at 3:23

Hi Octopus users,

I've been using Octopus in several problems, trying to test many possibilities, and I end up with many GH files exceeding 200 Mo, which are hard to manipulate.

Is there any mean to compress/reduce gh files size ?

Is there any technique to store the data out of octopus and re-load it if needed ?

For the moment, I am deleting genetical history I don't need, and deleting outer solutions. I also reduced the population size when the big population is diverse enough, of course trying to maintain diversity. But I don't think I will get a good set of solutions in the end.

Thanks for any clue, any help, any direction toward which I should seek !


Comment by Robert Vier on June 6, 2015 at 5:31

A WIP-version of the looping component used in octopus.E is now available as an explicit loop, with the same functions as Anemone, a bit less well to use but much faster [up to 1000 times due to internal calculation]:

Comment by Israa El-Maghraby on April 15, 2015 at 1:16

Hello Robert Vier, hope you are doing great 

I have a little serious problem, my optimization collapsed at the11th generation, where it should continue till 15 generation. The octopus saved my last 10 generations "no problem about that" but corrupted my 11th, any way I can start from generation 10 and re continue my optimization process , THANKS IN A MILLION

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!


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