Substitution Systems Design Process

Jason Jacobs


In a generalization a stem cell chooses its specialization by its location. Because the cell’s location determines the chemicals it is swimming in, and those chemicals initiate the computation of a DNA sequence, this DNA computation determines the cell's specialization.

This presentation is to show how through substitution systems we can also grow datasets by the evaluation of expressions of simple rules based on location. I will do this by explaining a system that I designed that creates fractals through subdivision of cells on a grid. This system can produce Pascal’s triangle, Sierpinski’s carpet, the Cantor set, and Cantor dust. But the fun part of the program is being able to program/design some more fairly complex fractal layouts without advanced programming/mathematics knowledge.

During my presentation the main focus points will be:
1. My design process for creating a simple subprogram
2. How my program works
3. Applications of substitution systems (cell growth studies, crystal growth research, city growth planning)
4. How others can create their own simple substitution system programs