Alternating rule

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Alternating rules are a generalisation of Life-like cellular automata in which cells behaving as one rule change into cells behaving as another rule in the next generation, and then either back to the original rule or onto yet another rule, creating loops.

By contrast, a rule containing different cell states net simulate different rules without alternating with each other is called a mashup rule.


Golly supports a strict class subclass of alternating rules, which are used in simulating B0 rules to avoid strobing, using this process.

LifeViewer supports alternating rules from build 292 onwards, with a few restrictions.


It is possible to extend such rules to von Neumann and hexagonal neighbourhoods, extended neighbourhoods, and non-totalistic and non-isotropic rules, and can even alternate between combinations of these.

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