Tracks emerging by forcing Langton's ant with binary sequences

Mario Markus, Malte Schmick, Eric Goles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The well-known "ant" defined by C. Langton on a grid with black and white squares is forced by periodical binary sequences {rm}, as follows: i) The ant turns 90° to the left (right) if it enters a white (black) square and if {rm} = 0 (Langton's case); and ii) the directions are reversed if {rm} = 1: in both cases the color of the square is inverted as the ant proceeds. Changing the sequences {rm}, we obtain a plethora of different, periodical tracks. Thousands of runs, some of them differing only by one bit, never rendered the same pattern. Also, an ant moving from a white to a black domain may experience reflection, refraction or sliding on the black-white-border.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cellular automata
  • Emergence
  • Langton's ant


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