Hard Data

I tracked the population of three patterns that differed by only a single pixel for 60 generations to see what effect this slight change had on the output. The 3 patterns were as follows:


Pattern 1

Pattern 2

Pattern 3

This table shows the first 10 generations of each pattern. You can see that, although all three patterns start our within one cell of each other, they at first slowly and then more rapidly move away from each other.

Generation Pattern 1 Pattern 2 Pattern 3
0 21 20 20
1 32 31 29
2 32 30 29
3 52 37 50
4 36 38 32
5 52 48 47
6 36 36 40
7 52 35 47
8 48 34 45
9 68 43 54
10 44 45 51

The following graph shows this even more dramatically, through all 60 generations. While all three lines remain close together at the beginning, they move apart and are almost toatlly different by the end. In fact, patterns 1 and 2 stabalize before 60 generations have passed, but pattern 3 has not (and will continue to not stabalize for another 2000 or so generations).

[A graph of our findings]

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Created and maintained by Jeff Hoskinson
Last revised: 1 June 1996