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Game Of Life Essay

781 words - 4 pages

The Game of Life is a cellular automaton that replicates the survival and death of populations based on predefined rules. John Conway, a mathematician at Princeton University, released the Game of Life in 1970. The Game of Life is an unpredictable simulation. When a portion of a board setup achieves symmetry the symmetry is maintained unless the formation merges with another. The symmetry can increase and become very complicated.
The game operates on a two dimensional grid and cells live or die based on the states of their neighbors. Dead cells are black and live cells are green and neighbors are defined as adjacent cells including diagonals. The game operates under two sets of rules that ...view middle of the document...

The Game of Life eventually goes into one of three end states. An end state occurs when a population no longer changes unpredictably. The first state is fading away due to overcrowding, loneliness or a combination of the two. The second option is for no changes to happen no matter how long the game runs, this is considered stable. Four live cells in the shape of a box is one example of a stable configuration. This configuration is commonly referred to as the “block” and is shown in Figure 1. The last ending state is oscillation. When a configuration oscillates it transitions back and forth between two states without any other changes. An oscillator will have a period, or the smallest number of generations needed to make a complete cycle. The most common oscillation formation is a row made of three live cells which changes into a column of three cells and back again. This oscillator has a period of two and is known as the “blinker”. The two states of the blinker are shown in Figure 2. The three ending states can represent how a computer program can end. The ending because of all cells dying corresponds to a program terminating. A population oscillating resembles an...

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