I’ve spent a reasonable amount of the past few weeks thinking about how SpiNNaker can allow us to explore weird programming models that are infeasible on a conventional computer. After devising a few general test cases, I realised that they weren’t all that general and can be represented in 2D grid space. So I started writing a really basic program, Simple Grid, to give me a sandbox to play in.
I was planning to have some kind of directed random walk running in grid world but a colleague of mine made the suggestion of the Game of Life! It’s a fairly famous cellular automaton that can lead to some truly awesome patterns emerging from very simple seeds. For example, the image above started out as an F-pentomino.
Simple Grid uses Qt’s plugin framework to allow any problem model to be connected up to the grid renderer. I’d like to evolve this program from a toy into something more useful over the next few weeks. Cellular automata are seriously cool; I find it amazing how a simple set of rules can lead to such complex patterns. Hopefully I’ll have some cool things to share soon!