Search for the Largest Methuselah and Other Questions

For discussion of specific patterns or specific families of patterns, both newly-discovered and well-known.
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APerson241
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Search for the Largest Methuselah and Other Questions

Post by APerson241 » August 27th, 2011, 5:38 pm

---The Official Methuselah Questions Post---

=====THE (BURNING) QUESTIONS BEING EXPLORED ON THIS FORUM:=====
(updated daily)
  • What is the largest methuselah known to mankind?
    What is its bounding box?
If you have a question that needs to be answered, just suggest it on this forum and this post will be updated.

=====POSTING POLICY=====
We would greatly prefer it if you made one post and then edited that post, instead of making many posts. Thank you!
Last edited by APerson241 on September 5th, 2011, 10:56 am, edited 8 times in total.

ZMan
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Re: Search for the Largest Methuselah

Post by ZMan » August 27th, 2011, 6:27 pm

If you ask about number of cells or bounding box, I believe that any size can (and some will) be reached; however, most of the sources I found have a maximum bounding box of 20x20, and many have even less.
But the methuselah with the longest lifespan (fitting in 20x20) is called Fred, and I'm not posting the code because LifeWiki is free, so check there if you feel curious.

flipper77
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Re: Search for the Largest Methuselah

Post by flipper77 » August 27th, 2011, 7:17 pm

ZMan wrote:... I'm not posting the code because LifeWiki is free, so check there if you feel curious.
You can post code from the wiki and paste it here if you want, many others have done this before. Here's the pattern from my computer:

Code: Select all

x = 20, y = 20, rule = B3/S23
5bo8bo2b2o$bo5b6o2bobo$3b6ob2o2bobo$o2bo2b2obo3bo4b2o$obob3o2bobo6bo$b
ob4o2b3o5b2o$bo2b3ob2obob3o$o2bo4bo3bo6bo$b2o2b3o3bo3bo$obo3b2obo3bo2b
obo$bo6bobo5b2o$6o2b3o2bo$2bo4b3o5bobo$2b2ob2o5bo3b3o$3bo2b4obobo2bob
2o$o4bo6b2obobo$o2bo2b2obobo$bo5bo2bo2bobobo$b3ob2obo$ob3obo6bo3b2o!

ZMan
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Re: Search for the Largest Methuselah

Post by ZMan » August 28th, 2011, 5:52 am

I know that I can post the code here; I didn't because I'm lazy

APerson241
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Re: Search for the Largest Methuselah

Post by APerson241 » August 28th, 2011, 10:34 am

Maybe this is just a noob question, but I was wondering why the bounding box for most of the methuselahs is 20x20. Why not 40x40 or even 60x60? And what do you think is the best soup search algorithm?

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calcyman
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Re: Search for the Largest Methuselah

Post by calcyman » August 28th, 2011, 11:10 am

but I was wondering why the bounding box for most of the methuselahs is 20x20.
Methuselahs are meant to be as small as possible. Otherwise, I could have the following pattern as a megatick methuselah:

Code: Select all

x = 250005, y = 250004, rule = B3/S23
2o$2o250000$250002b2o$250002bobo$250002bo!
And what do you think is the best soup search algorithm?
Randomly populate a box with live cells at a specified density.
What do you do with ill crystallographers? Take them to the mono-clinic!

flipper77
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Re: Search for the Largest Methuselah

Post by flipper77 » August 28th, 2011, 11:18 am

A bounding box of 20x20 has a very large search space that would need many years to search, but is small enough to eventually get it done some time in the future, but mostly it's also good to stick to small bounding boxes since methuselahs usually have small bounding boxes or small intial population.

APerson241
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Re: Search for the Largest Methuselah

Post by APerson241 » August 29th, 2011, 11:14 am

calcyman wrote: Methuselahs are meant to be as small as possible. Otherwise, I could have the following pattern as a megatick methuselah:

Code: Select all

x = 250005, y = 250004, rule = B3/S23
2o$2o250000$250002b2o$250002bobo$250002bo!
Megatick, indeed... One million generations probably counts as an ultra-tick methuselah.

By the way, the word methuselah sounds funny when you say it out loud over and over again. Methuselah, methuselah, methuselah.

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calcyman
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Re: Search for the Largest Methuselah and Other Questions

Post by calcyman » August 29th, 2011, 1:47 pm

Is it possible to create a pattern that exhibits infinite growth that fits in a 10x10 bounding box?
Yeah, the disjoint union of the 5x5 infinite growth seed and an isolated live cell.

What about 100x100?
See above.

What about 10^n by 10^n?
See above, also.

Is there a formula that will determine the eventual population of a methuselah based on its initial bounding box?
No. The maximum eventual population of a methuselah in an n*n box overtakes any computable function of n.

Which loop is most efficient in a methuselah soup search algorithm:
for(non-iterative)
for(iterative)
while
The for loop is a special case of a while loop; performance depends entirely on implementation.

Why do we use the word methuselah?
Methuselah was a biblical character (patriarch, I believe) in the Old Testament who lived to 969 years of age.

Why not "zork" or "bleep"?
Bleeps are typically short-lived pulses of sound, therefore inappropriate for something so long-lived. Extrapolate from there.

And finally, is it possible to create a UCC program that creates methuselahs, moves itself to another location, then makes another methuselah? (Might just be idle fantasizing)
Yes, of course it's possible. Certainly impractical, though.
What do you do with ill crystallographers? Take them to the mono-clinic!

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Tropylium
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Re: Search for the Largest Methuselah and Other Questions

Post by Tropylium » September 2nd, 2011, 9:05 pm

Sounds like OP probably has an idiosyncratic understanding of what a "methuselah" is, to begin with.

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