Monday, October 15, 2012

How to Make Life in the Universe

A Universe Inside the Big Brain Achieves Life on March 1st, 2011
Big Brain's universe of life
Big Brain Achieves Cellular Automatronic Life - Propeller Program gives life to the Brain 

Big Brain Date March 1st, 2011  08:27 am
Code p17#333 

Above Actual photo of this amazing Universe of Life, which is still unfolding inside the Propeller Brain, has evolved over a time period of one hour! Looking like stars in the galaxy, these are actually evolutionary cellular life forms.

Left Wired for Evolving Automatronic Life, the Brain is alive as seen in this window of the unfolding Universe portal, made possible by a Parallax 3.5-inch TV as a viewer and computational Propeller chips.

Sometimes you find life in the strangest of places living under the strangest conditions. This is one such example, which is developed by Cambridge mathematician John Conway. In this Brain Automata, Life is created through collections of living cells that are born, breed and die, based on the mathematical conditions imposed upon Universe life. Throughout their lifetime, they form groups and patterns of considerable importance.

Conway's work was popularized in a 1970 Scientific American article. It has become a must know/must read work for Artificial Intelligence followers as well as a litmus for various fields of mathematical academia.

The universe of Life is an infinite two-dimensional orthogonal grid of square cells, each of which is in various states, alive, breeding, or dead. Each cell interacts with eight neighbors, which are horizontally, vertically, or diagonally adjacent.

During each step of evolutionary time, the following happens: 

For a space that is 'populated'

  • Each cell with one or no neighbors dies, as if by loneliness.
  • Each cell with four or more neighbors dies, as if by overpopulation.
  • Each cell with two or three neighbors survives.
For a space that is 'empty' or 'unpopulated' Each cell with three neighbors becomes populated.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 occur simultaneously, and the discrete moment at which this happens is sometimes called a tick (each generation is a pure function of the preceding one). The rules continue to be applied repeatedly to create further generations.

Starter Code Downloads - PropBASIC demo program
"Conway's Game of Life" 
Here is another PropBASIC demo program. This is Conway's game of life on a 256x192 matrix. The pbas code will run under Propbasic language and spin code runs with Spin language - both are written for the Parallax Propeller chip. Output is NTSC from the Demo board.  Code presented by Bean at the Parallax Forum:
Download here



Expanding the Code
Try changing the variables. For example, the number of life generations can indicate the level of evolution of a given life form's technology. Try making cells into equivalent neural maturations and relate their effectual evolutionary traits.

The code runs on the Big Brain. The starter code shown here will run on the Parallax Propeller Demo Board. See