extropians: Re: Game of Life with mutations and noise?

Re: Game of Life with mutations and noise?

Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko (sasha1@netcom.com)
Fri, 15 Jan 1999 22:24:29 -0500

At 10:43 PM 1/14/99 +0100, Eugene Leitl wrote:
>Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko writes:
> > Does anybody know of any implementations of the game of Life
> > that introduce mutations, diseases, noise, colored cells, etc.?
>Mutations and noise, that seems to be indistinguishable. Can't parse
>diseases. Colored cells seem to mean states richer than boolean.

I once developed a cooperative game named CoLife that had color cells for two players. The evolution rule is the same as in Life; the rule for color is: the cell born gets the dominant color of the parents (since there are always 3 parents, and 2 colors, there is always a maximum). In between the evolutionary steps, each of the two players could add a piece of their own color to the field. The [common] goal of the game was to keep the populations balanced on the highest possible level. The game appeared a bit hard for humans, but post-humans will probably enjoy things like that.
Also, in the same game, there was a third, disease color,
that the cells would turn after a certain number of generations of being stagnant. The "stagnation disease" didn't have it's own moves, or strategy, but it would infect all new cells born near even one diseased cell.

What I meant by mutations and noise: Mutations would affect non-zero cells, by killing them, or moving them a little, or temporarily changing, for one point, reproduction rules. (Or maybe more, like turning some group of cells a multiple of 90 degrees). Noise would also affect empty space, by randomly creating points on it. There isn't much difference here, I agree, but there is a slight difference in programming, and also noise can bring life into existence from scratch. Maybe, not all life forms? One probably needs a high degree of initial noise to jump-start an openended evolutionary process...

Santa Fe Alife server, for those interested, is at http://alife.santafe.edu/

If anybody finds references to noisy cellular automata, please let me know.

Alexander Chislenko <http://www.lucifer.com/~sasha/home.html> <sasha1@netcom.com> <sasha@media.mit.edu>