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Cellular Automata Twist

The CA Twist is a one dimensional cellular automata wrapped around a rotating construct. The twist is sixteen bits wide and infinitely long.

CLICK anywhere to randomly initialize the cell row and use new ruleset. Move the MOUSE TOWARDS OR AWAY from the twist's center to rotate it accordingly.

Cellular automata are discreet dynamical systems with simple construction but complex emergent behavior. This particular implementation of CA is based on Wolfram's 8-bit Class 4 CA, using ruleset 110. The bits lit on each successive line of the CA are based on the lit bits of the previous lines.

figure a. the twist, if allowed to continue growing indefinitely, with no limit on the life-span of it's individual bits.

The lit bit is represented graphically by a white square. One particularly challenging aspect of this project was the computational power required to hold and calculate each bit of the CA. To solve this problem, each bit is its own Flash object.

Older bits of the CA Twist eventually fade and are removed. This is to help conserve computational resources while continuing to add new rows.

A similar cellular automata exists as an expanding static construction.

Given more computational resources (or a more efficient implementation), it would be nice to see the width of this CA expanded to 32 or even 64 bits.
  jtarbell, july 2003  

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