In this program, you will create a cellular automata called Brian’s Brain. This cellular
automata consists of squares (cells) on a 2D grid that are in one of three possible states:
ON, OFF, or DYING. At each step, squares change their states depending on their neighbors.
This assignment will guide you through this process, but you may be interested in the
following outside resources on Brian’s Brain:
Wikipedia: A brief description is at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian’s_Brain
YouTube video: Animated generations are at: https://youtu.be/1gKPsk9YHl0?t=11s
Interactive simulator: You will create a command-line version of this: https://scratch.
Proceed by moving from the first part to the last part, in order. You must modify
the supplied code. You do not need to define functions, and only need to add code to
implement certain functions throughout the code. These are marked with:
// TODO: complete this function
To assist with your programming, the following testing files have been provided:
list_tester.c, cell_tester.c, and cell_grid_tester.c. You may use these to compile executables that will test your code and give you feedback. Note that incorrect
implementations may make these tests crash. A sample executable is available on the
CSIF, and you can copy it to your current directory using this command:
∗Last updated March 7, 2017
cp /home/rsgysel/brians_brain_cellular_automata .
You can run it by giving it a seed file (see the files included for this assignment), and
a number of generations to run, like this:
brians_brain_cellular_automata oscillator.txt 100
This runs the cellular automata using oscillator.txt for 100 generations.
Files to turn in:
Part 1: cell.c (10 pts, 2 test cases)
The Cell type is defined as a struct in cell.h. This represents a single cell (box) on
the 2-dimensional grid. Each Cell has three members: an x-coordinate, a y-coordinate,
and a CellState (one of ON, OFF, or DYING). The x and y-coordinate specify the Cell’s
position on the grid. Each cell has 8 neighbors, the 4 cells adjacent above, below, left
and right of it, and the 4 cells adjacent diagonally.
1. Implement bool Cell_AreNeighbors(Cell C1, Cell C2).
Part 2: list.c (10 pts, 2 test cases)
1. Implement void List_Print(List* list). Hints: use a for loop to iterate through
the nodes of the list. Use the List member head for the setup of your for loop, the
ListNode member next for the increment of your for loop, and you should compare
with NULL for the test case of your for loop.
Part 3: cell_grid.c (30 pts, 6 test cases)
The CellGrid type is defined as a struct in cell_grid.h. This represents the 2-
dimensional grid of cells. At each phase (generation) of the simulation, all Cells in
the CellGrid will be in one of the three states ON, OFF, or DYING. In Part 4, we use the
current generation’s (current CellGrid) states to compute the next generation (a new
1. Implement CellGrid* CellGrid_Create(int numRows, int numCols). This should
use malloc to allocate a CellGrid.
2. Implement void CellGrid_Delete(CellGrid* G). This should use free to deallocate a CellGrid.
3. Implement CellState CellGrid_GetState(const CellGrid* G, int row, int col).
This function returns the state of the cell specified by the input row and column.
4. Implement void CellGrid_SetCell(CellGrid* G, Cell C). This function sets C
as a Cell of G. Note that C has x and y-coordinates that need to be used to specify
which square of G to modify.
5. Implement bool CellGrid_Inbounds(const CellGrid* G, int row, int col).
This checks whether or not the input row and column is in the grid G.
6. Implement void CellGrid_Print(const CellGrid* G, FILE* fp). This prints
all of the cells according to their CellState. To begin, print the state of cell (0,0)
first (in the top left corner) and then the rest of that row (all cells (0,j) where j is
in bounds) before printing a new line and then proceed with the remaining lines.
Part 4: brians_brain.c (30 pts, 6 test cases)
In Brian’s Brain, the grid starts in an initial configuration of cell states. You can use the
seed files oscillator.txt, diamond.txt, gliders.txt, and spaceship.txt to specify
the initial configuration and run the program, like this:
brians_brain_cellular_automata oscillator.txt 100
This runs brians_brain_cellular_automata on oscillator.txt for 100 generations
(generations are described below).
Seed files consist of a number of rows and columns on the first line, and on each line
afterwards a row, a column, and a state (either ’O’ for ON or ’D’ for DYING, otherwise a
Cell is assumed to be OFF).
Brian’s brain runs for a finite number of generations. Each generation t completely
determines the states for the Cells in generation t + 1 according to the following rules:
1. If a Cell is ON in generation t, then it is DYING in generation t + 1.
2. If a Cell is DYING in generation t, then it is OFF in generation t + 1.
3. If a Cell is OFF in generation t and has exactly 2 neighbors that are On in generation
t, then it is ON in generation t + 1.
1. Implement CellGrid* NextGeneration(CellGrid* generation). This calculates
a new generation from generation using the rules described above.
2. Implement List* GetNeighboringCells(Cell cell, CellGrid* generation). This
should return a list of all cells that are adjacent to cell, except for cell itself. Use
List_Create to allocate your List and use List_PushFront to add elements to
Part 5: Makefile (10 pts)
Create a Makefile to create your project. Your makefile should have the following targets.
cell.o Builds the cell.o object file from cell.c.
list.o Builds the list_tester object file from list.c.
cell_grid.o Builds the cell_grid.o object file from cell_grid.c.
brians_brain.o Builds the brians_brain.o object file from brians_brain.c.
cell_tester Builds the cell_tester executable.
list_tester Builds the list_tester executable.
cell_grid_tester Builds the cell_grid_tester executable.
brians_brain_cellular_automata Builds the brians_brain_cellular_automata executable.
all Creates the tester executables and the main program, brians_brain_cellular_automata.
clean Deletes all *.o object files and executable files