Kasprzyk's A-Life Page

Turmites Icon Turmites

"Turmites" by Alexander Kasprzyk is an application allowing easy investigation of Turmite designs.

Full documentation is available in PDF format. This application was inspired by "o3 - Functional Programming: Practical Assignment 2" where a complete description of how a Turmite functions can be found.

Word Evolver Icon Word Evolver

"Word Evolver" by Alexander Kasprzyk is a version of the classic "monkeys bashing on a typewriter". Allowing the user to set the population size and choose whether the "monkeys" breed sexually or asexually, it is an excellent tool to investigate the adaptive advantages crossover offers over simple asexual reproduction.

Langton's Ant Icon Langton's Ant v1.3.1

"Langton's Ant" programmed by Alexander Kasprzyk, based on the classic CA by Christopher Langton.

One of the simplest cellular automata is "Langton's Ant", named after its inventor, Christopher Langton. The "ant" effects the state of the world each iteration by moving forwards one square.

  • If the ant is currently on a black cell the ant turns 90 degrees to the left;
  • If it is currently on a white cell the ant turns 90 degrees to the right;
  • As it moves to the next square, the one that it is on changes colour from white to black, or visa versa.

On the face of it Langton's ant would seem to be a simple animal - the rules are less than complex. In fact the ant displays behaviour that is currently baffling mathematicians. The ant can spontaneously start to build a "highway", or display many interesting pattern forming behaviours.

This version allows multiple ants to be placed on the "world", and comes with some interesting patterns to experiment with, along with detailed documentation. The application is FAT, which means that it takes advantage the new Power Macintosh computers whilst still running on older Macs.

Full documentation is available online in PDF format.

Bill Casselman has written a Java version of Langton's Ant.

Langton's Loops Icon Langton's Loops

"Langton's Loops" by Alexander Kasprzyk, based on Christopher Langton's CA "Loops".

A simple implementation of Langton's famous CA Loops, in which simple looped structures reproduce into the surrounding space. Full source code written in C will be distributed to anyone interested in taking this program further.

Ben's Life Icon Ben's Life

An amazingly fast version of Conway's "Life" programmed by Ben Griffin for the Power Macintosh.

This implementation of Conway's Life is especially fast. It is written in optimized PPC assembler (which unfortunately means it will only run on Power Macintosh computers) and implements a set of machine dedicated look-up tables, making it the fastest Life program you will ever see. The interface is a little strange, but is described fully in the documentation.

Tresvita Icon Tresvita 3.2.1

"Tresvita" is a 3-D CA, programmed by Alexander Kasprzyk.

It allows the user to define the rule-set and grid size for the CA, and to design a grid to execute the rules on. It also features full plug-in support enabling the user to quickly and easily create their own rule-sets to run on Tresvita, making it one of the most powerful 3-D CA modelling tool available for Macintosh.

This version of Tresvita features:

  • Full compatability with Mac OS 9.x;
  • Full plug-in support enabling new rule-sets to be created quickly and easily;
  • User definable grid sizes;
  • The ability to save a QuickTime movie of a growth;
  • A special "Report" file to allow accurate plotting of graphs;
  • Unsurpassed speed of drawing;
  • A variety of render modes.

Tresvita also comes with full documentation (available to read online here) and several example plug-ins complete with source code.

Tresvita 3.2.1 requires a Power Macintosh computer with 1Mb (4Mb recommended) of memory to run.

Lambda2Rule Icon Lambda2Rule is a useful program which converts lambda values into possible rule sets for Tresvita.
Tresvita Screen Saver Icon A Tresvita screen saver module for After Dark 2.0 and higher is also available.
CopyCat Icon CopyCat 2.0

"CopyCat" by Keith Wiley.

CopyCat is a an attempt to evolve mimicry, a phenomenon known to exist in nature which is often used as evidence of evolution and natural selection.

The CopyCat environment contains prey and predators. A prey or predator is cloned and mutated slightly when a new organism is needed. The environment encourages mimicry to evolve as a defence method against predators. It is very entertaining to watch and comes with full documentation.

PatternEvolver Icon Pattern Evolver

"Pattern Evolver" by Keith Wiley.

Pattern Evolver is a GA which evolves smoothly tessellating neutral grey backgrounds in the form of 8 x 8 one-bit patterns. This genetic algorithm works beautifully, allowing you to evolve smooth patterns amazingly quickly and easily.

More information about Pattern Evolver is available here.

Concha Icon Concha

"Concha" - an application by Alex Kasprzyk based on an idea described by Richard Dawkins in "Climbing Mount Improbable".

Concha is a simple program which enables shell-like images to be evolved. By selecting a "shell", mutant offsprings will be created using the parent shell's genetic code. This genetic code consists of four parameters:

  • The rate at which the spire expands;
  • The distance from the centre of the spire to the inner margin of the tube of the shell;
  • The vertical displacement of one spire above another;
  • The diameter of the spire.

A wide variety of shapes can be formed by adjusting these values over time through selective breeding. The results are often amazingly beautiful images which bear striking resemblances to shells commonly found in nature.

Full documentation is available online in PDF format.

LifeLab Icon LifeLab 3.0

LifeLab - Andrew Trevorrow's CA laboratory.

LifeLab comes with a vast amount of pre-saved work containing many classic "Game of Life" 'creatures', including Gliders, Glider-guns, Puffer and Pulsars. An excellent program; if you haven't seen it, take a look - it will have you engrossed for hours!

Version 3 includes the ability to:

  • View/edit patterns at three different scales;
  • Grid dimensions which can grow as required;
  • Optional detection of oscillating patterns;
  • Optional detection and deletion of isolated gliders;
  • Search for new Spaceships, Oscillators, Still Lifes and Methuselahs;
  • Change the transition rules and examine other forms of Life.

Visit Andrew's LifeLab page for more information.

LifeMaker Icon LifeMaker v.2.1

"LifeMaker" is a CA program by Jesse Jones.

LifeMaker includes Conway's "Life", along with 32 other rules to experiment with. Unlike most Life programs LifeMaker allows up to four different cell states, along with the ability to let you create your own rules using a simple programming language.

Vitaetas Icon Vitaetas

"Vitaetas", programmed by Alexander Kasprzyk and based on an idea by Aaron Davidson.

Vitaetas is a simple CA very similar to the "Game of Life" developed by John Horton Conway. However, unlike in "Life", the cells in Vitaetas grow older and die as time passes. The patterns that result are amazing and beautiful; well worth a look!

Full documentation is available online in PDF format.

Aaron has written an excellent Java version of Vitaetas.

Prisoner's Dilemma Icon Prisoner's Dilemma Code and Java Applet

A link to a page with source code (written in C for the Macintosh) for a basic version of the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma, along with a simple Java applet running a modified version of the code.

Hexagonal CA Icon Hexagonal CA with source code in C, by Alexander Kasprzyk.

An amazingly fast hexagonal CA (where each cell has 6 neighbours, as opposed to the 8 in "Life") with complete source code written in C. The source code can be freely adapted for use in your own projects.

"Hexagonal CA" requires a monitor capable of displaying 256 colours.

Turmites Screen Saver Icon Turmites 1.0.3

An After Dark module programmed by Mike Kurtinitis.

Inspired by the Turing machine application described in the September 1989 issue of Scientific American. Each "Turmite" follows a simple set of rules by executing the following steps:

  • Observe the color of the pixel it's on;
  • Based on this color, turn and face a different direction;
  • Paint the pixel a new color;
  • Move one pixel forward, then go to step one.
PatternFormers Icon PatternFormers 1.0

A simple After Dark module written by Alex Kasprzyk.

"PatternFormers" is based heavily on "Turmites". It stems from a mistake where I allowed a memory pointer to drift. I wish to thank Jack Wilson for generously allowing me to use his modified code in this module.

The patterns which form are both interesting and varied. A near infinite amount of variety exists, making the "PatternFormers" behaviour unpredictable and exciting.


Logistic Equation Applet Icon The Logistic Equation Java Applet

An interactive Java Applet demonstrating beauty of the famous "logistic equation"; well worth looking at by all those with an interest in chaos and nonlinear systems.

Brian Hill's A-Life Icon Please go to Brian Hill's Macintosh A-Life page for more excellent software, such as:
  • "Macintosh Cellular Automata" by Thai Truong - A demonstration of cellular automata following one-dimensional rules;
  • "Neoterics" by Kevin Coble - An environment in which creatures evolve neural nets to guide them in gathering food and mating;
  • "Petri" by Greg Strickler - You control the environment, the species behavior, and discover what works and what doesn't;
  • "Hogepodge" by Fred J. Condo Jr. - A hypothetical model for the spread of disease.
StarLogo Icon Visit StarLogo to discover an excellent way of programming your own A-Life software, or to simply see what other people are creating.
Keith Wiley's A-Life Icon Keith Wiley's page features more of his work, including:
  • "Strange Universe" - A cellular automata on a trianglular rather than the conventional square grid;
  • "Bugs" - A basic demonstration of how natural selection shapes the distribution of genes in a population of evolving organisms;
  • "Ant Colony" - A simulation of a real ant colony in which the ability to find food, pick it up, and return it to the nest must be evolved from scratch;
  • "Stickers" - Evolution of two dimensional morphology and neural control structures for organisms constructed of sticks.
Simon Fraser's A-Life Icon Simon Fraser's excellent After Dark modules are well worth seeing. A visit to his MacTierra page is also worthwhile.