Complexity Explorer Santa Fe Institute


Game of Life

Conway's Game of Life (by British Mathematician John Conway) is a two-dimensional cellular automaton with a simple set of rules. At a given time step, a cell is in one of two statesalive or dead.  The state of a cell at the next time step is a function of its current states and the states of cells in its Moore neighborhood (the surrounding 8 cells). The rules of Life are: 1) live cells with fewer than two live neighbors die (underpopulation); 2) live cells with more than three live neighbors die (overpopulation); 3) dead cells with exactly three live neighbors become alive (reproduction); 4) all other cells do not change state.   Despite the apparent simplicity of the individual cells' behavior, the cellular automaton can exhibit elegant, complex patterns over time. A wide variety of patterns can be achieved, with the user varying only the initial configurations of the cells.


Topics
Cellular Automata, Computer Science, Art, Visualization
Difficulty
1