Computing and Design : Cellular Automata


Cellular Automata are systems based on cellular entities whose states depends on their previous state and on the one of their neighbours. This system performs complex outcomes by implementing simple rules that affect only local relations of their components.


Cellular Automata systems are usually described as a grid in 1,2 or 3 dimensions which might have any number of cells. Each cell has a neighbourhood which is constituted by a selection of a finite number of other cells that affect its state. The rules are applied to the whole grid for each cell in the same way but go through the system only by means of the interaction between neighbours.

First developed by Stainslaw Ulam and John von Neumann in the 1940s, these system have been explored by many others amongst whom Knorad Zuse and Stephen Wolfram. Probably the most famous CA (Cellular Automata) is the one developed by John Conway which was called Game of Life. Although the rules governing the state of the cells were elementary, the system presents an almost infinite amount of behaviours ranging from random to ordered patterns.

My exploration of these systems focuses on 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional grids where the local rules affect the coordinates of nodes or the density of pixels of which they are made respectively.