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LifeHistory is a multistate rule equivalent to two-state Conway's Game of Life with several additional states for annotation. A "history" state records whether an off cell has ever turned on in the past, and other states allow on and off cells to be permanently or temporarily marked, without affecting the evolution of the pattern.

x = 37, y = 36, rule = LifeHistory 14.ABA$14.B2AB$15.A3B$16.4B$17.4B$18.4B2.D2BD$5.BA4.B7.3B3D2B3D$4.ABA B2.3B7.BD8BD$5.2A6B8.B3D2B3D$5.9B5.5B4DB$4.11B4.10B$3.6BA6B.B.5B2D4B$ 3.7BA12BD2BD5B$2.6B3A13B2D7B$3.9BA9B.9B$4.8B2A7B2.7B$5.6BABA7B3.6B$7. 13B4.7B$7.3B.9B5.2B.4B$6.4B.10B8.4B$5.4B3.9B9.4B$4.4B5.8B10.4B$3.4B6. 6B13.4B$2.4B9.4B14.B3A$.A3B11.4B14.A2B$B2AB13.4B14.A$ABA15.4B$19.4B$ 20.4B$21.4B$22.4B$23.4B$24.4B$25.3BA$26.B2AB$27.ABA! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 10 WIDTH 480 HEIGHT 480 ]]
LifeHistory example: a 7-glider synthesis[1]
of xs26_4aarggraa4zw4aa4
(click above to open LifeViewer)
RLE: here Plaintext: here


LifeHistory has seven states:

  1. State 0: dead, as in Conway's Game of Life.
  2. State 1: alive, as in Conway's Game of Life.
  3. State 2: history/envelope: shows whether a dead cell was ever alive.
  4. State 3: marked alive; enters state 4 upon death.
  5. State 4: marked dead; enters state 3 upon birth.
  6. State 5: start alive; enters state 4 upon death, and will never reappear during evolution.
  7. State 6: boundary; never changes state, and all adjacent living cells die in the next tick.

LifeHistory is based on HistoricalLife, a 3-state rule with an additional dead state showing whether a given cell was ever alive.

The state 6 is primarily for separating objects in stamp collections. It can also be used to create patterns such as conduits, oscillators and guns that do not function in ordinary Life,[2] but this is not its intended use.

LifeHistory is supported by Golly and LifeViewer. For any 2-state range-1 cellular automaton (up to MAP rules) with rulestring [R], LifeViewer also supports [R]History which has the same additional states. LifeHistory patterns can be saved in extended RLE format.

See also


  1. gmc_nxtman (January 12, 2018). Re: Soup search results (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
  2. Martin Grant (May 3, 2010). The "Gray Cells" in LifeHistory Rule (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums

External links