cellular automata
distributive parallel computing applied to the game of life: a collaborative performance art piece symbolizing our virtual existence and search for meaning

Solution

Our version will be slightly different. Instead of an infinite grid, our grid will be finite with toroidal boundary conditions. This means that cells on the edges of the grid will �wrap around� to connect with the opposite edge of the grid: the northernmost cells are adjacent to the southernmost cells, and the westernmost cells are adjacent to the easternmost cells. Thus, the grid�s shape is like the surface of a torus (hence �toroidal�) or donut. That allows us to predetermine the size of our live installation and online display of results.  People will be invited to participate on our website which will also credit them for their contribution.  The project can be housed at Jovoto and sent to the public installation space and to all mobile users over the cloud.  thus we all see real time update of the evolving patterns.  If budget allows, we can even break into a third dimension by using an LED cube display, so that our patterns emerge as throbbing light organisms appearing in our physical space.


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, live or dead. Every cell interacts with its eight neighbors, which are the cells that are directly horizontally, vertically, or diagonally adjacent. At each step in time, the following transitions occur:

1. Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbors dies, as if by loneliness.

2. Any live cell with more than three live neighbors dies, as if by overcrowding.

3. Any live cell with two or three live neighbors lives, unchanged, to the next generation.

4. Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbors comes to life.


The initial pattern constitutes the �seed� of the system. The first generation is created by applying the above rules simultaneously to every cell in the seed. Births and deaths happen simultaneously, and the discrete moment at which this happens is sometimes called a tick. (In other words, each generation is a pure function of the one before.) The rules continue to be applied repeatedly to create further generations.


Our version will be slightly different. Instead of an infinite grid, our grid will be finite with toroidal boundary conditions. This means that cells on the edges of the grid will �wrap around� to connect with the opposite edge of the grid: the northernmost cells are adjacent to the southernmost cells, and the westernmost cells are adjacent to the easternmost cells. Thus, the grid�s shape is like the surface of a torus (hence �toroidal�) or donut. That allows us to predetermine the size of our live booth and online display of results.  People will be invited to participate on our website which will also credit them for their contribution.  The project can be housed at Jovoto and sent to the trade fair display and mobile users over the cloud.  thus we all see real time update of the evolving patterns.  If budget allows, we can even break into a third dimension by using an LED cube display, so that our patterns emerge as throbbing light organisms appearing in our physical space.


As collaborators in this exercise, we won't merely be donating computer time.  As a twist, the algorithm will partner our contributed DNA with an initial mate based on computer dating principles.  So we all complete a questionaire which helps the main server find our ideal mate with which to procreate in the initial inception.  We each get a family tree which is generated as collateral output of the main task, along with a chance to converse with our virtual soul mate through anonymous email.


Life provides an example of emergent behaviour, self-organization, and collective consciousness . It is interesting for computer scientists, physicists, biologists, biochemists, economists, mathematicians, philosophers, generative scientists and others to observe the way that complex patterns can emerge from the implementation of very simple rules. The game can also serve as a didactic analogy, used to convey the somewhat counter-intuitive notion that "design" and "organization" can spontaneously emerge in the absence of a designer. It even explores the possibility of consciousness and free will - from the relatively simple set of deterministic physical laws governing our own universe.  By adding a distributive shared computing element to the game, we introduce new philosophical questions which are relevant to contemporary technology and the way our personal lives are changing as a result.




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_computing


http://distributedcomputing.info/projects.html


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway's_Game_of_Life



examples of game of life outputs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYgbnI_R1E0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg0PKAvL01Y&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJuUmMWihB8&NR=1


a 3D LED light array only to show equipment (not a game of life ouput)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g3IS-zFBN8&feature=related