Copycat

A stochastic cellular automaton by John N. Engelmann


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Copycat visually demonstrates what happens when all members of a group repeatedly imitate their neighbours. Copycat begins with each square—or "cell"—in the above grid being randomly assigned a colour from a palette of 16,777,216 possible colours. In each iteration (or "generation") of the automaton, a randomly-selected cell from anywhere in the grid takes on the colour of a randomly-selected adjacent cell. Over time, the number of different colours seen in the grid decreases, until only a single colour remains.

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