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International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2006)

Self-organising text in an amorphous computing environment

Orrett Gayle
University of the West Indies

Daniel Coore
University of the West Indies

     Full text: PDF
     Last modified: August 18, 2006

In an amorphous computing environment, myriad irregularly located
computing elements asynchronously execute a common program and
communicate locally to solve a global problem. We have implemented a
mechanism for robustly generating patterns of self-organising text in
an amorphous computing environment. Our method uses the Growing Point
Language (GPL), presented in [1], and builds on ideas put forward
there for constructing text-like patterns. One shortcoming of that
technique was that patterns for producing a text character were
spatially confined and did not scale well to producing arbitrarily
many of them. We have found a way to allow the conditions that govern
the formation of a character to propagate arbitrarily far from the
starting point, thereby allowing us, in principle, to produce
arbitrarily long concatenations of text characters.

We have used a pen metaphor, where generating text can be treated in a
similar manner as text being drawn on paper, which is done by a series
of interconnected strokes. Under this pen metaphor, characters may be
combined via the network abstraction in a perfectly natural way to
produce words. We have also implemented a serializing mechanism which
is used to propagate, along with each character, the information
needed to draw the next character. This mechanism permits long
strings to be drawn reliably in a manner that scales well with the number
of text characters to be drawn. Our simulations have shown that we
can produce short strings more reliably than previously, and that we
can produce longer strings than ever before.

[1] Daniel Coore, "Botanical Computing: A Developmental Approach to
Generating Interconnect Topologies on an Amorphous Computer." Ph.D.
thesis, Dept. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT, 1999.

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