egram: The Program

September 8, 2009

Egram is a program which assembles pseudo-English phrases about two Scandinavian warlords.

Egram gets its original universe of phrases from a vocabulary file.  It then chooses two phrases at random from its universe and ‘collides’ them.  When two random phrases collide, new phrases may be formed and added to egram’s active set.  In addition,  a collision of phrases also chooses phrases at random from the active set and removes them.  A removed phrase is inactive.

This kind of discrete dynamical system is Turing-gas-like; see Kauffman’s Origins of Order.

Egram differs from what Kauffman describes in that it may form or remove more than one phrase at a time.  Egram uses a parameter, nominalActiveSize, to regulate the size of the active set.   Since new (or reactivated) phrases can always be added to the active set, egram randomly removes phrases until it achieves the nominal active set size.

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