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Game of Life Links

For general discussion about Conway's Game of Life.

Game of Life Links

Postby Nathaniel » March 5th, 2009, 3:25 pm

Feel free to post Life-related links in this thread. For an up-to-date list of some of the most important Life links, see this LifeWiki page.

Here are some to get the ball rolling:

Introductory Articles
Wikipedia page
What is the Game of Life? - Math.com
The fantastic combinations of John Conway's new solitaire game "life" - The original article describing Conway's Game of Life. Written by Martin Gardner and published in the October 1970 issue of Scientific American.

Research Papers
Searching for Spaceships - A paper by David Eppstein describing spaceship search software and the discovery of the weekender
The still-Life density problem and its generalizations - A paper by Noam Elkies that proves the still life conjecture that no infinite still life can have density more than 1/2

Glossaries and Encyclopedias
• Our very own LifeWiki
The Life Lexicon by Stephen Silver (see also this version by Edwin Martin)
A Brief Illustrated Glossary of Terms in Conway's Game of Life by Alan Hensel
Conway’s Game of Life - An Illustrated Guide by Michael Hogg
Treasure Trove of the Life Cellular Automaton by Eric Weisstein

Online Pattern Catalogs
Alien life - Pattern collections focusing on Life-like cellular automata other than Conway's Game of Life itself
Game of Life Object Catalogs at Pentadecathlon - contains most small still lifes, oscillators and spaceships
Mark D. Niemiec's Life Page - contains lots of well-known patterns, sorted by either name, glider synthesis, size, or type (via archive.org)

Downloadable Pattern Catalogs
Jason Summers' pattern collections
• Pattern collections by Alan Hensel: lifebc.zip (basic collection), lifep.zip (larger collection), and lifepw.zip (collection including other rules)

Blogs and News Sites
Game of Life News at Pentadecathlon
Conway's Life: Work in Progress - a blog by Dave Greene

Other Personal Life Pages
David Bell
Paul Callahan
Calcyman - stable technology, Corderships, and current unsolved problems
David Eppstein - Gliders in Life-like cellular automata
Achim Flammenkamp
Nick Gotts - Game of Life Patterns with Eventful Histories
Dean Hickerson
Mark Niemiec
Gabriel Nivasch - A variety of articles and code.
Andrzej Okrasinski
Stephen Silver

Downloadable Simulation Software
Golly - Linux, Mac, Windows
Life32 - Windows
LifeLab - Mac
Mirek's Cellebration - Linux, Mac, Windows
WinLife (direct FTP link) - Windows 3.1

Downloadable Computation and/or Search Software
Catalyst v1.0 by Gabriel Navasch - Finds ways of modifying the evolution of an input pattern by placing catalysts that react with it, by a backtracking search. Written in C++.
gencols by Paul Callahan - Enumerates collisions between patterns (e.g. gliders and still lifes). Includes output filters to detect oscillators, spaceships, or successful eating of one pattern by another. Life evolution rule is hardcoded as a sequence of bit-parallel integer operations (so it's possible to change but not easy). Written in C.
gfind v4.8 by David Eppstein - Search program for low-period spaceships. Extends partial patterns a row at a time, keeping track of rows in all phases of the pattern. Includes modes for finding symmetric patterns. Written in C.
gsearch by David Eppstein - Performs a brute force search of all patterns fitting within a small rectangle. Evolves each pattern for a specified number of generations or until it repeats, grows too large, or matches a previously seen pattern. Recognizes spaceships, oscillators, unstable oscillators (such as queen bee and p90), replicators, and some puffers. Includes modes for finding symmetric patterns. Written in C.
Hersrch by Karel Suhajda (via archive.org - the original site is down) - Searches for open or closed Herschel tracks in Conway's Game of Life, using a database of known static and periodic track components. Written in C++.
lifesrc v3.8 by David Bell - Search program for oscillators. Written in C.
WLS 0.71 (WinLifeSearch) - a Windows port of lifesrc, with a GUI to help with setup. Windows executables are included in the zip files; source code is on github.
JavaLifeSearch, or JLS - a Java port of lifesrc, with a GUI similar to WinLifeSearch, by Karel Suhajda.
ofind v0.9 by David Eppstein - Searches for low-period oscillators. Similar to gfind, but extends patterns in all phases simultaneously rather than a single phase at a time, and includes special handling of stator cells. User can specify what spark the oscillator should produce, or how it should interact with neighboring patterns of other periods. Written in C.
Random Agar v1.1 by Gabriel Navasch - Looks for new Life oscillators, wicks, and agars. Generates random spatially periodic patterns, and runs them until they oscillate. Includes complete support for all possible symmetry types. Written in C++.
Paul Chapman's Seeds of Destruction Game - Manual search assistant for self-destruct circuitry, efficient glider-construction cleanups, reburnable fuses, etc. Java application.
Other Links Pages
dmoz: Open Directory Project
Golly Help: References
Attachments
wls-0.71.zip
WinLifeSearch 0.71 by Jason Summers
(205.15 KiB) Downloaded 58 times
Hersrch-15June2007.zip
Hersrch by Karel Suhajda
(201.81 KiB) Downloaded 1818 times
ofind.zip
ofind v0.9 by David Eppstein
(13.95 KiB) Downloaded 1763 times
lifesrc_v38.zip
v3.8 by David Bell
(40.99 KiB) Downloaded 1730 times
gsearch.zip
gsearch by David Eppstein
(8.57 KiB) Downloaded 1782 times
gfind_v48.zip
gfind v4.8 by David Eppstein
(19.42 KiB) Downloaded 1810 times
randomagar_v11.zip
Random Agar v1.1 by Gabriel Nivasch
(121 KiB) Downloaded 1674 times
catalyst_v10.zip
Catalyst v1.0 by Gabriel Nivasch
(15.11 KiB) Downloaded 1730 times
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Lewis » March 18th, 2009, 5:11 pm

I know of some websites which aren't on the list:

http://www.geocities.com/conwaylife/ - Pattern Statistics and software.

http://www.ibiblio.org/lifepatterns/lifepw.zip - Another pattern collection by Alan Hensel, this one includes patterns from other rules.

http://wwwhomes.uni-bielefeld.de/achim/gol.html
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Nathaniel » March 18th, 2009, 6:09 pm

Thanks, those have been added.
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby dvgrn » May 30th, 2009, 7:33 am

Added this link in the "Stable Life?" topic last night, then realized it wasn't in your List o' Links...

http://nickgotts-eventful.blogspot.com/

["GoL Patterns with Eventful Histories", about Life patterns that stay "interesting" (meaning unpredictable) for a long time.]

MIght also be worth keeping an eye on Golly's reference links page, at

http://golly.cvs.sourceforge.net/viewvc ... /refs.html

-- there are a few resources there that aren't in your list, such as Calcyman's Life pages:

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/calcy/life/

(good summaries of stable technology, Corderships, and current unsolved problems).

Dean Hickerson's Life pages now have a new home at

http://radicaleye.com/DRH/

And there's an updated Hersrch with a few recently-discovered conduits and other miscellaneous fixes, at

http://cranemtn.com/life/files/Hersrch-15June2007.zip

I have some more updates to do on Hersrch, but anyway it needs a better home than buried in my pile of linkable Life junk...
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Nathaniel » May 30th, 2009, 2:19 pm

The list is now updated.
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Macbi » June 2nd, 2009, 12:38 pm

I couldn't see http://www.yucs.org/~gnivasch/life/index.html in the list. Gabriel Nivasch's page is great, especially the still life generator, it helps no end with stabilizing "almost patterns".
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby PM 2Ring » June 5th, 2009, 1:30 pm

Dean Hickerson's Life pages now have a new home at

http://radicaleye.com/DRH/

Excellent! I see Dean has a p30 glider stream bridge. I tried to build one a couple of months ago, using XOR reactions. My first attempts failed, due to off-by-one timing errors, but I eventually achieved success. However, the resultant circuit was too large to be practical. I tried a different approach a few weeks ago that is much simpler, and possibly even more compact than DRH's method. If it is, I'll post it in the Patterns forum.

My new approach is quite simple. Each p30 stream is converted to a pair of p60 streams. The four streams just have enough room to cross safely. The p60 streams are then recombined into p30 streams.
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Lewis » June 6th, 2009, 1:48 pm

I've found a new website with pattern collections for a few different rules:

http://ad-ca.narod.ru/downen.htm
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Awesomeness » June 12th, 2009, 7:32 pm

Ugh... There's so many good search programs that use terminals/consoles and I don't know how to run them... I am a Java programmer. I wish someone could make a GUI version of these in Java, so everyone can use them, not just the computer savvy and people with the ability to compile C and C++.
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Nathaniel » June 15th, 2009, 4:57 pm

I've uploaded a list of links to LifeWiki to avoid the middle man that is this thread:

http://www.conwaylife.com/wiki/index.php?title=LifeWiki:Life_links

As such, I propose keeping that list as the list of "good links" (whatever that means), and this thread can be used for posting any links (your own site, single blog posts, whatever floats your boat).
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Macbi » June 19th, 2009, 1:15 pm

Are there any descriptions anywhere of the quicklife algorithm? What optimisations does it use?
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby PM 2Ring » June 19th, 2009, 1:59 pm

Macbi wrote:Are there any descriptions anywhere of the quicklife algorithm? What optimisations does it use?


The Golly credits state that the quicklife algorithm uses some ideas from Alan Hensel. Maybe Andrew will post on this topic, but in the meantime, here's a link to a quick description of the algorithm Alan uses in his applet, plus links to the Java source code.
http://www.ibiblio.org/lifepatterns/lifeapplet.html
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Andrew » June 20th, 2009, 2:39 am

Macbi wrote:Are there any descriptions anywhere of the quicklife algorithm? What optimisations does it use?

Tom Rokicki wrote the QuickLife algorithm (and HashLife, and all the other algorithms included in Golly, except for RuleTable which was written by Tim Hutton). I'm hopeless at bit-twiddling and Tom is hopeless at GUI stuff, so we make an excellent team. :)

You might want to read Tom's comments in qlifealgo.h which can be found at Golly's CVS page:
http://golly.cvs.sourceforge.net/viewvc/golly/golly/src/
Or download Golly's source distribution.
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Macbi » June 20th, 2009, 9:51 am

Andrew wrote:You might want to read Tom's comments in qlifealgo.h which can be found at Golly's CVS page:
http://golly.cvs.sourceforge.net/viewvc/golly/golly/src/

Thanks!
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Sokwe » July 9th, 2009, 3:27 pm

Personal Life pages
http://www.beluch.ru/en/life.htm - The English version of Nicolay Beluchenko's personal Life page
http://www.ibiblio.org/lifepatterns/ - Alan Hensel's Life page

Research papers
http://msri.org/publications/ln/msri/2000/gametheory/cook/1/index.html - "Still Life" by Matthew Cook
http://www.paradise.caltech.edu/~cook/Workshop/CAs/2DOutTot/Life/StillLife/StillLifeTheory.html - "Still Life Theory" by Matthew Cook

You might also consider adding Summers' "Game of Life Status page" to the links.
-Matthias Merzenich
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Lewis » August 1st, 2009, 1:36 pm

http://mysite.verizon.net/live_free/glossary.htm - Has patterns from different rules (B2/S0)

I'd found similar pages to this dedicated to other life-like rules but lost them. There was one about 34-Life where the owner had managed to run a census on the rule (using a toroidal universe I think). Does anyone know and have a link to that site?

Edit: I found the site. It's http://web.mac.com/teisenmann/34life/main.html
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby tedge » November 18th, 2009, 4:39 am

Crepuscular Life - Full resolution screensaver for Mac OS X:
http://twilightedge.com/mac/crepuscularlife/
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Lewis » February 7th, 2010, 1:23 pm

How do you use the programs which are .c files (eg. ofind.c)?
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Axaj » February 7th, 2010, 3:33 pm

Lewis wrote:How do you use the programs which are .c files (eg. ofind.c)?


You have to compile them yourself.
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Lewis » February 8th, 2010, 5:21 pm

How do you compile them, and is any software required to compile?
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby calcyman » February 8th, 2010, 5:42 pm

You compile them with a dedicated C/C++ compiler, like Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition (downloadable for free).
What do you do with ill crystallographers? Take them to the mono-clinic!
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby Extrementhusiast » November 15th, 2010, 1:10 am

A nice link that I'm not sure should be in the LifeWiki page, as it deals with a variation that is not strictly a cellular automaton. (You'll see what I mean.)
http://www.clickmazes.com/life/ixlife.htm
I Like My Heisenburps! (and others)
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby knightlife » January 15th, 2011, 4:00 pm

Interesting, but the algorithm is not revealed:

http://www.ramos.nl/yyfire.html#Introduction
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby MikeP » January 17th, 2011, 8:47 am

knightlife wrote:Interesting, but the algorithm is not revealed


It looks like some kind of reaction-diffusion system. I've played with these myself - they can often give you some very beautiful emergent patterns.

It's a shame he doesn't talk about the details though.
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Re: Game of Life Links

Postby George Maydwell » May 6th, 2011, 8:20 pm

My attempt at making a hexagonal Yin-Yang fire rule is here:

http://www.collidoscope.com/modernca/he ... rules.html
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