I’ve always wanted to make a life simulator, so here is a quick and dirty one using Matlab. I think the rectangle drawing takes up a significant portion of the CPU time…

Source Code after break.

**UPDATE:** I posted an animated gif of the program running:

% Life in Matlab, by Matt Mets % Configuration dimX = 100; dimY = 100; numRounds = 200; % Setup board = floor(rand(dimX+2,dimY+2)./.5); board(1,:) = 0; board(dimX+2,:) = 0; board(:,1) = 0; board(:,dimY+2) = 0; % Loop for n=1:numRounds % count neighbors for x=2:dimX+1 for y=2:dimY+1 count(x-1,y-1) = board(x-1,y-1) + board(x,y-1) + board(x+1,y-1)... + board(x-1,y) + board(x+1,y)... + board(x-1,y+1) + board(x,y+1) + board(x+1,y+1); end end % modify the cell for x=2:dimX+1 for y=2:dimY+1 if count(x-1,y-1) <= 1 % die of underpopulation board(x,y) = 0; elseif count(x-1,y-1) == 2 % no change elseif count(x-1,y-1) == 3 % lives/reborn board(x,y) = 1; else % die of overpopulation board(x,y) = 0; end end end % draw the board clf axis([1 dimX+1 1 dimY+1]) for x=2:dimX+1 for y=2:dimY+1 if board(x,y) == 1 rectangle('Position', [x-1 y-1 1 1], ... 'facecolor','b'); end end end pause end

Coolness, a quick suggestion to speed display is to use images instead of plots.

Modified source:

http://www.dewgatherer.net/matthew/life.m.diff

Patch file:

http://www.dewgatherer.net/matthew/life.m.new

A side benefit is it runs on Octave (doesn’t support rectangle function)

I took the image suggestion you made and rolled it into my program, and also added the capability to export bitmaps of each of the frames so that they can be made into an animated gif. I used ImageMagick to compile them into a movie:

convert *.bmp anim.gifIt should be possible to make an animated gif completely in Matlab, but I was too lazy. My modified source is here. I will update the original post with a link to an animation…

Ah, the image trick is a neat one, thanks for sharing! Although on my version of Matlab (R14), it didn’t like having two parameters, so I had to change the line to this:

image(board+1);

I was playing with your code and added some statistical outputs as well as color changes for newborns and elders. I don’t have the 1337 coding skills of you guys though. When I tried to actually make an M-file of it I wasn’t allowed to. It turns out that Matlab, at least as of version 7.1, has a life simulator built in. It runs fast and wraps the borders.

Hey, statistical outputs, cool! What I would like to do is add a scanner for recognized stable structures, and have it produce a count of each kind per frame. I believe that the stability calculation is an incomputable problem in general, but it would be fun to develop an algorithm to at least pattern-match them from a database; even better would be to have it build a catalog of lifeforms automatically…