Computational methods for Conway's Game of Life cellular automaton

Gadi Oxman, Shlomo Weiss*, Yair Be'ery

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cellular automaton model of computation has drawn the interest of researchers from different disciplines including computer science, biology, mathematics, economy, biochemistry and philosophy. Although a cellular automaton is based on a set of simple rules, over time complex patterns may evolve. We present computational methods for implementing and optimizing a well known two-state cellular automaton, Conway's Game of Life, on a 16-core Intel Xeon. The evaluation is based on three multicore algorithms. The first algorithm is coherent and utilizes shared memory and barrier synchronization. The remaining two algorithms are distributed and utilize private memories and explicit core-to-core message passing. We provide a link to our open source simulation software.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Computational Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Cellular automata
  • Computational methods
  • Large-scale problems
  • Modeling
  • Simulation


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