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: on Wednesday

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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Comment by Robert Vier on December 17, 2012 at 14:28

Rhino 5 is available as an evaluation version limited to 90 days of full usage.. an upgrade is fairly cheap, so I would go for it since the advantages are quite remarkable.

Mostapha stated it right in principle - weighting the different factors of a single-objective optimization is quite tricky and practically impossible for many problems. Further multi-objective optimization gives you a number of optimized solutions (that are differently weighted trade-offs between the objectives) that you can choose from - so the final decision is up to the designer. Octopus also tries (so far rather simple) to incorporate user-interaction by letting the search be densified near solutions that have been marked 'preferred' when the optimization was paused.

Comment by djordje on December 17, 2012 at 14:14

Thank you for clearing that up Mostapha,
I guess I will just have to wait until the Rhino4 Octopus version comes out, and check it by myself.

Comment by Mostapha Sadeghipour Roudsari on December 17, 2012 at 14:11

Hi Djordje,

Yes! I did used Ladybug for radiation studies.

I'm not the best person on the list to tell the differences between Galapagos and Octopus, but generally speaking single-objective optimization is more restricted than Multi-Objective one.

Design is a multi-objective problem by nature and it is not always that easy to simplify all the objectives as one single objective. For example what if I had area of the building as the 3rd objective and view to a point of interest as the forth? How you want to sum them up? (there are of course some way to do that but it's not that easy/straight forward)

There is a great value in having a multiple-objective evolutionary algorithm in Grasshopper that let you explore the result space in multiple dimensions!

Thanks to Robert again!

Comment by pbdlab on December 16, 2012 at 1:53

Octopus is very interesting,and is a nice job.

BUT I can not make the Fitness working as the way I do with Galaogas.

I was wondering if someone can share some example files.

Thank you!



Comment by djordje on December 15, 2012 at 15:05

Thank you for such a detailed reply Mostapha.
Are those energy components you are using, the ones from the future Ladybug plugin?

To be honest, I haven't tried Octopus, as I do not have Rhino 4, and it currently only works on v5.
What I am confused with is the difference between the Galapagos and Octopus. Why couldn't you use Galapagos instead? Fitness would be sum of -(objective 1) and objective 2, and the Fitness should be Minimized.

Comment by Mostapha Sadeghipour Roudsari on December 15, 2012 at 14:29

Hi Djordje,

I tried to find the optimum form for a dumb building based on 3 parameters (building orientation, and roof angle in both directions), and two objectives (minimize incident solar radiation during the cooling period, and maximize incident solar radiation during the heating period). The graph on the right side of the image shows that Octopus was able to find the Pareto frontier.

I captured a video that shows how I set up this problem for Octopus. You should be able to set-up your problem in a similar way...

Comment by Fred Becquelin on December 15, 2012 at 7:16

Awesome! Thanks Robert! Here's my try.

I find it quite difficult to navigate through the results at this stage :) If I may throw in a few ideas, like redefining the axis variables, logarithmic scales, display thresholds, better marking management - or at least add contrast!

Comment by djordje on December 14, 2012 at 3:22

Hi Mostapha,
Can you tell me more about your testing?
What did you want to achieve?
Thank you.

Comment by Mostapha Sadeghipour Roudsari on December 13, 2012 at 18:44

Thank you for sharing this Rob! Here is my first try...

Comment by djordje on December 13, 2012 at 17:17

This may sound a bit premature but, Robert will there be some example files in this group related to Octopus usage in next few days?


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