- Length: 4 pages
- Subject: Biology
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #49214493

Implementation and Software Issue

Most initial patterns which Conway calls still-life (patterns that oscillate forever) either reach stable figures. Patterns with no initial symmetry tend to become symmetrical. Once this happens the symmetry cannot be lost, although it may increase in richness. Conway conjectured that no pattern can grow without limit. Put another way, any configuration with a finite number of counters cannot grow beyond a finite upper limit to the number of counters on the field. This was probably the deepest and most difficult question posed by the game. Conway offered a prize of $50 to the first person who could prove or disprove the conjecture before the end of 1970. One way to disprove it would be to discover patterns that keep adding counters to the field: a "gun" or a "puffer train." The prize was won in November of the same year by a team from M.I.T. The initial configuration grows into such a gun, emitting the first glider on the 40th generation. The gun emits a new glider every 30th generation from then on.

Summary

In 1970, John Conway published his "Game of Life." It is meant to represent living cells. The system supposes that new life arises near a group of existing individuals of a lifeform, if there is enough room left. In to heavily crowded areas or areas not crowded enough, life dies. Game of Life is a two-dimensional with some very simple rules. These rules concern the birth, survival and death of the artificial creatures that roam the two-dimensional.

The result of these simple rules is astonishing. Starting from a certain pattern, there is no easy way to predict whether a pattern ultimately will perish or remain in existence. The behavior of this system is again chaotic: adding one point can make the difference between dying and staying alive for an infinitely large pattern.

References

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