Even more explorations with Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata

History

If you are not aware what Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata (aka MNCA) are, you can refer to this post and this post for some history.

Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata were created by Slackermanz (see his Reddit history or his GitHub repository).

The basic principal of these cellular automata is to have multiple neighborhoods (usually in circular and/or toroidal shapes) of different sizes that are used to determine the next state of each cell in the grid. Using these more complicated neighborhoods has lead to these fascinating examples of cellular automata beyond the usual simpler versions of cellular automata I usually see or experiment with.

New Discoveries

Two years have passed since those first two blog posts. I saw Slackermanz was still generating new versions of MNCA. He shared a bunch (over 11,000) of his shaders he created as he continues to experiment with MNCA. It only took a little coding to write a converter that massaged his shaders into a format that Visions of Chaos supported. I spent a few days going through these examples and whittled it down to 162 of the “best of the best” MNCA shaders in my opinion. Here is a sample movie showing some of the newer MNCA results.

The shaders that were used for creating the above movie are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->OpenGL Shading Language->Shader Editor” mode as the GLSL shaders starting with “Cellular automaton”.

Multi-scale Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata

During some of his recent developments Slackermanz started to get results that look similar to Multi-scale Turing Patterns (MSTP). I find these results are more interesting with much finer structures that evolve and change more than with MSTP. MSTP tend to reach a relative stable state after a while, the small structures stabilize and only the larger sized shapes pulsate. Compare MSTP to the following example of multi-scale multiple neighborhood cellular automata (MSMNCA?)

The first 3 minutes and 20 seconds are Slackermanz original multi-scale shaders. The next 3 minutes and 20 seconds are those same shaders “zoomed in” by multiplying the neighborhood sizes by 4. The last minute are examples of the very latest experiments with using the multi-scale principals.

The shaders that were used for creating the above movie are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->OpenGL Shading Language->Shader Editor” mode as the GLSL shaders starting with “Cellular automaton”.

To see the shader code than generates the multi-scale image thumbnail for the video, click here.

New Shaders Part 1

After that bunch of shaders the ever prolific Slackermanz shared another set of his new shaders with me.

To see an example shader used in the above movie click here. The only difference between the movie parts are the 32 e0 array parameters in the shader at line 141. Otherwise the shader code remains the same for all movie parts.

These MNCA are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->Cellular Automata->2D->Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata 2” mode.

New Shaders Part 2

Click here to see the shader that makes the first part of the above movie. All other parts use the same shader, only altering the 32 float values of the ubvn array at line 156.

These MNCA are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->Cellular Automata->2D->Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata 2” mode.

New Shaders Part 3

I did say Slackermanz was prolific. Here is another set of samples from his latest work.

Click here to see the shader that makes the first part of the above movie. All other parts use the same shader, only altering the 32 float values of the ubvn array at line 138.

These MNCA are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->Cellular Automata->2D->Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata 2” mode.

New Shaders Part 4

Slackermanz is not a slacker man and shared another bunch of new shaders. Here is another sample movie showing some of the latest MNCA results.

Click here to see the shader code that makes these results. The only part of the shader code that changes between the examples is the 32 float values of the ubvn array at line 136.

These MNCA are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->Cellular Automata->2D->Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata 2” mode.

New Shaders Part 5

These next bunch of Slackermanz shaders include a bit of color shading that helps bring out more of the structures within the blobs and other shapes.

See here to see the shader code that makes these results. Note that this shader code has more commenting than the above shaders so if the earlier ones didn’t make any sense this one may help. The only part of the shader code that changes between the movie examples is the 32 float values of the ubvn array at line 107.

These MNCA are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->Cellular Automata->2D->Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata 2” mode.

New Shaders Part 6

These MNCA shaders continue to be impressively intriguing with new and unique features in each new version.

See here to see the shader code that makes these results. The only part of the shader code that changes between the movie examples is the 52 float values of the ubvn array at line 117. Yes, 52 parameters in these newer shaders compared to the 32 parameters of the above examples.

These MNCA are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->Cellular Automata->2D->Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata 2” mode.

New Shaders Part 7

Another new MNCA shader from Slackermanz.

See here to see the shader code that makes these results. The only part of the shader code that changes between the movie examples is the 52 float values of the ubvn array at line 117.

These MNCA are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->Cellular Automata->2D->Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata 2” mode.

New Shaders Part 8

New MNCA variations.

See here to see the shader code that makes these results. The only part of the shader code that changes between the movie examples is the 52 float values of the ubvn array at line 117.

These MNCA are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->Cellular Automata->2D->Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata 2” mode.

New Shaders Part 9

More absorbing and intriguing (thanks Thesaurus.com) examples.

See here to see the shader code that makes these results. The only part of the shader code that changes between the movie examples is the 52 float values of the ubvn array at line 117.

These MNCA are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->Cellular Automata->2D->Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata 2” mode.

New Shaders Part 10

More compelling and appealing (thanks Thesaurus.com) examples.

See here to see the shader code that makes these results. The only part of the shader code that changes between the movie examples is the 52 float values of the ubvn array at line 117.

These MNCA are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->Cellular Automata->2D->Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata 2” mode.

New Shaders Part 11

More beautiful and astonishing (thanks Thesaurus.com) examples.

See here to see the shader code that makes these results. The only part of the shader code that changes between the movie examples is the 52 float values of the ubvn array at line 117.

These MNCA are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->Cellular Automata->2D->Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata 2” mode.

New Shaders Part 12

The parts in the following movie came from a few different shaders so no specific code this time. If you are curious you can see the shader code within Visions of Chaos when you open the preset/sample MCA files that are listed in the description of the video.

These MNCA are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->Cellular Automata->2D->Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata 2” mode.

New Shaders Part 13

The final sample movie for now. The parts in the following movie came from a few different shaders so no specific code this time. If you are curious you can see the shader code within Visions of Chaos when you open the preset/sample MCA files that are listed in the description of the video.

These MNCA are included with Visions of Chaos under the “Mode->Cellular Automata->2D->Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata 2” mode.

Variations of MNCA in Visions of Chaos

The above movies show only a tiny subset of all the MNCA examples Slackermanz has experimented with. There are thousands more variations of MNCA included with Visions of Chaos to explore.

Enough With The MNCA Movies Already!

Yes, there were a lot of Multiple Neighborhoods Cellular Automata movies in this post that I have been uploading to my YouTube channel lately.

Each of the movies in order of uploading show the steps and evolution that Slackermanz went through while creating these cellular automata. Each movie is a selection of samples from one of his MNCA shaders (code links after each movie). They are all unique, or at least I have tried to pick the best unique results from each batch to create the sample movies that show off what each of the shaders can do.

These discoveries deserve to be seen by more people, especially people interested in cellular automata.

The Same As Other CA Types?

Yes, you may see structures that look like Stephan Rafler’s SmoothLife, Kellie Evans’ Larger Than Life and/or Bert Chan’s Lenia (see also here), but the techniques and components found in the construction of MNCA are unique and individual and were developed outside academia separately from the previous linked papers.

The Future

Slackermanz shows no sign of stopping his explorations and discoveries any time soon, so expect more MNCA or other new CA types in the future. I look forward to exploring them and including them in future updates of Visions of Chaos.

Jason.

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