A Parallel Cellular Automaton Simulation Framework using CUDA

Ryno Fourie
Department of Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science Division, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa
University of Stellenbosch, 2015

   title={A Parallel Cellular Automaton Simulation Framework using CUDA},

   author={Fourie, Ryno},


   school={University of Stellenbosch}


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In the current digital age, the use of cellular automata to simulate natural systems has grown more popular as our understanding of cellular systems increases. Up until about a decade ago, digital models based on the concept of cellular automata have primarily been simulated with sequential rule application algorithms, which do not exploit the inherent parallel nature of cellular automata. However, since parallel computation platforms have become more commercially available, researchers have started to investigate the advantages of parallel rule application algorithms for basic cellular automata. For this thesis, a parallel cellular automaton framework, based on NVIDIA CUDA is developed to simplify the implementation of a wide range of cellular automata. This framework is used to investigate the potential performance advantages of using graphical processing units as a parallel processing platform for cellular automata.
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