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: 430
Latest Activity: Jul 1

Discussion Forum

Octopus Loop - How to use

Hello everyone,very new to grasshopper, I want to repeat a process taking place on a grid multiple times using a Loop. I did it using the Anemone Loop which was great and easier for me to understand,…Continue

Tags: octopusloop

Started by Theodora Georgopoulou Jun 3.

Double click the Octopus plugin and Rhino crash!

Dear everyone,Does anyone meet the problem that when double click the Octopus component and the Rhino crash!!! It works fine on a previous computer but doesn't work on this workstation. I just pull…Continue

Started by anxiao zhang May 22.

Octopus window issue!

Hey all,I've been trying for hours to open the octopus window by clicking on it!(screenshot attached), the window isnt even minimized somewhere on the screen, i searched a lot.I removed it and copied…Continue

Started by fares Nov 27, 2019.

Optimisation Goal 4 Replies

Hey everyone,I would like to know if you can add a certain constraint in Octopus that lets you give solutions that are "bigger as" or "smaller as".For example, I would like to get soltuions for a…Continue

Started by Jakob Grave. Last reply by James Jul 23, 2019.

Comment Wall

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

Comment by M NICK on April 16, 2013 at 18:09

Thanks for the info. Two more questions:

1) there is no way that I pass the range other than slider?

2) WHAT is the slider in the pareto frontier? Is it narrowing down the pareto frontier?

Comment by djordje on April 16, 2013 at 16:07

You mean to plug in the Panel instead of number slider in "Genome" plug of Octopus? No you can't do that. You need either Gene pools or number sliders for the "Genome" input, as only these tho are able of changing it's values using slider. Panel could not do that.

Comment by M NICK on April 16, 2013 at 16:01

IS there any way to pass a panel instead of slider to Octopus?

Comment by Fred Becquelin on February 7, 2013 at 3:07

Sometimes you can't make a viable fitness function. In my example, I would have to combine very different values in different units (or without unit), different expected range (some may vary by 10%, others may double or be reduced by half), and dependant one on another.

Plus there may be a hierarchy, for instance my first two objectives are absolutely primordial, third one is important but I don't have a clue what its value must be, and then, when I'm happy with those I can focus on the last two.

So the good thing with octopus is that you can pause the evolution at some point an play God, i.e. looking individuals that respect my main objectives, and resuming evolution with those marked as "preferred".

Comment by Michael Makris on February 7, 2013 at 1:25

This looks like an interesting alternative to Galapagos. To be clear, one of the main differences here is that Octopus allows/uses multiple fitness functions instead of just the one?

If so, how is this operationally different from me just creating my own weighting of factors and combining them into one fitness equation, like we do with Galapagos now? Is there some additional added strength to separating them out?

Seems really interesting!

Comment by Robert Vier on January 26, 2013 at 15:23

Thanks Erick! Octopus just uses the interface-parts of Galapagos - it adds a pareto-based fitness assignment and elitism strategy to its GA. So, besides the GA-concept and the canvas-interfacing, its very different from Galapagos. On multi-objective optimization also see 

Nice job on using GH and Galapagos cross-platform! also like the processing interfaces, they appear just amazingly clean and fast..!

scopes for future work (going to happen) on octopus are not precisely defined yet. But modular, cloud-based thinking is healthy I guess!

Comment by Erick Katzenstein on January 25, 2013 at 21:26

Great work on the solver!  I just downloaded Octopus and enjoyed the improved interface.  We worked on an interface in our office as well, here's the blog post if you're interested.

Comment by jorge sainz de aja on January 22, 2013 at 3:37

Pd: just a little bug, in the context menu for each solution sphere, when the sphere is on the base, the context menu is partly outside of the main window so i cant select some of the options for those spheres

i hope i had explained well............ 

Comment by djordje on December 17, 2012 at 15:08

Thank you for the advice Robert.

Comment by Robert Vier on December 17, 2012 at 14:29

i might make a version for rhino 4 over christmas, before the actual work on octopus starts over.


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