Talk:Cellular automaton

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The Good Life

Is there a source anywhere describing "The Good Life" cellular automaton, or is it just something that the last author named and inserted into the page? I've never heard of it, and even though we're a bit more lenient with original research than Wikipedia, this sort of thing is still a no-no if it's not described somewhere else (other than the author's homepage) or if there's not a really good reason why that automaton is "interesting". Nathaniel 22:34, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

S/B or B/S?

We should add full S/B or B/S notation to the list of rules, The article mentions two types, but doesn't tell which is used in the list. 07:54, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

If the rule is shown as "Bxxx/Syyy", then it is in B/S notation. If, however, it is simply displayed as "yyy/xxx", with no capital letters, then it is in S/B notation. Calcyman 08:07, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Still, it's frustrating that the notation isn't consistent throughout the site. Yimmy (talk) 20:15, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

B0 Confusion

I've seen the notation, and I'm confused why rules with B0 don't turn the screen black. Someone explain please? 00:22, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Rules with B0 do turn the screen black (well, they turn the infinite field on). However, the next generation then almost all of those now-on cells die off. This leads to a strobe-like effect where the infinite field alters black/white every other generation, which would be very difficult to watch. Thus some Life simulators (such as Golly) employ methods to emulate B0 rules without displaying the empty field as alternating on/off/on/off... Nathaniel 00:43, 27 June 2011 (CDT)


I question the notability of this rule. "The fabric-like beauty of the patterns that it produces" is entirely subjective, and not very different from similar rules anyway (say, B235/S78). I am aware that a pattern file involving a block exploding in this rule has been circulated in many collections, but I have never seen anyone do anything else with it. --Tropylium 08:18, 12 September 2011 (CDT)

Demo of the rules

I've made a cellular automata implementation in HTML5 where you can add arguments to set the rules: It might be useful if the page is hosted on the wiki and then used to show off the rules listed on this page in action. While I don't see my page going anywhere soon, it's probably better not to rely on an external webpage. For anyone unsure about permissions, I give full permission to use my implementation and/or edit it to suit your needs. I optimized it a lot so it should have decent performance on any machine.


Pulsars are very common in B3/S238. I randomly filled an 8x8 square of cells and it stabilized with THREE pulsars. This seems to be normal. I also found honeycombs and mangos to be common. Even a pi heptomino evolves into a pulsar! Why does this happen? Perhaps it`s that the heptaplet that also makes pi is so common? -wwei23

Moving patterns

In B3678/S23578, there is an extremely simple puffer. It is a T-tetromino. -wwei23 6:53PM 9/20/2015 NY time

Stains vs. Coagulations

Stains has a rulestring of B3678/S235678, and Coagulations has a rulestring of B378/S235678. Coagulations has one less birth condition than Stains, yet Coagulations explodes and Stains is stable. Can someone explain why? -wwei23 9:53 PM 9/21/2015 NY time

This would probably be a question better fielded at LifeForum than LifeWiki, but the reason seems to be that the addition of B6 turns (in this case) solid space much more stable than chaos. Chaos in Coagulations remains theoretically explosive, but solid space now grows much faster, rapidly overtakes the chaotic areas, and creates a stable solid/vacuum boundary.
Subtracting any of the higher survival conditions (S5678) from Stains has the same effect as well: chaos becomes more resilient than solid(ish) space, and the rule becomes exploding. --Tropylium (talk) 20:01, 14 November 2015 (UTC)