Multicore NZ

May 20, 2009

Cellular Automata

Filed under: Uncategorized — multicoreblog @ 9:05 pm

In Linux Magazine, I found an interesting (and short 🙂 article that presents the idea of Cellular Automata. Below are the final paragraphs

“Why am I talking about CA’s? Aside from being intellectually interesting, they are highly parallel. And, when I see anything that is even slightly parallel I think of clusters and cores. Like, Genetic Algorithms or Monte Carlo methods, CAs are naturally parallel and can take advantage of the cheap and plentiful parallel computing cycles that clusters offer. There are even CA programming languages like CAOS (which stands for Cells, Agents and Observers for Simulation).”

“There is a certain appeal to using CA as a tool to simulate large systems. Indeed, CA’s can even produce pseudo randomness as part of their behavior. Keep the CA approach in mind when you have some extra cycles and want to play with an new idea. For instance, what if you try to simulate parallel programs running on a cluster. You never know what may happen. The often noted problem with CA’s, which is similar to Genetic Algorithms, is you can find something that works, but you are not sure why. Of course you could say the same thing about real life. Go figure, er ah automate.”

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