Several years ago I saw a snippet of a documentary on mathematical modelling, or evolution… or something. I actually couldn’t remember what it was about, which was super frustrating because one of the segments featured a very simple and very cool program that modelled a 2D form of evolution. It demonstrated a method in which complex processes could arise from a set of very simple rules, and I wanted my own copy of the program to play with. When it came time to Google it however, I had zero luck in finding any additional information on the topic (I had close to no information to go off of).
Anyway, this morning I happened to stumble across the program again on Google+! As it turns out, what I should have been searching for was “Conway’s Game of Life”. From Wikipedia:
The universe of the Game of Life is an infinite two-dimensional orthogonal grid of square cells, each of which is in one of two possible states, alive or dead. Every cell interacts with its eight neighbours, which are the cells that are horizontally, vertically, or diagonally adjacent. At each step in time, the following transitions occur:
1. Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies, as if caused by under-population.
2. Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives on to the next generation.
3. Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies, as if by overcrowding.
4. Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.
Anyway, I spent all day writing my own version. I’ve got the basic simulation running just fine, and I plan on chipping away at a polished version of the program that I could release for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and BB10.