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GPU Accelerated Computation and Visualization of Hexagonal Cellular Automata

Stephane Gobron, Herve Bonafos and Daniel Mestre
Institute of Mouvement Sciences, CNRS, Marseille, France
Cellular Automata, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2008, Volume 5191/2008, 512-521

@article{gobron2010gpu,

   title={GPU accelerated computation and visualization of hexagonal cellular automata},

   author={Gobron, S. and Bonafos, H. and Mestre, D.},

   journal={Cellular Automata},

   pages={512–521},

   year={2010},

   publisher={Springer}

}

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We propose a graphics processor unit (GPU)-accelerated method for real-time computing and rendering cellular automata (CA) that is applied to hexagonal grids.Based on our previous work [9] -which introduced first and second dimensional cases- this paper presents a model for hexagonal grid algorithms. Proposed method is novel and it encodes and transmits large CA key-codes to the graphics card and consequently, this technique allows to visualize the CA information flow in real-time to easily identify emerging behaviors even for large data sets. To show the efficiency of our model we first present a set of characteristic hexagonal behaviors, and then describe computational statistics for central processing unit (CPU) and GPU on a set of different hardware and operating system (OS) configurations. We show that our model is flexible and very efficient as it permits to compute CA close to a thousand times faster than classical CPU methods. Additionally, free access is provided to our downloadable software for hexagonal grid CA simulations.
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