Applications of Generative String-Substitution Systems in by DuBois R.L.

By DuBois R.L.

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Static-length L-systems A related and similarly interesting mapping scheme that is worth visiting concerns Lindenmayer strings that remain of a static length from generation to generation. While the L-system grammar was developed, as we have seen, to capitalize on principles of database amplification to show development in stages, it’s trivial enough to develop an Lsystem where the axiom sets the size for successive generations of the grammar model. A set of production rules where each predecessor symbol is substituted by a single successor simple will create a static-length L-system.

Often, the true meaning of a symbol only becomes clear when one considers its context. Symbols earlier in the string influence symbols later in the string, and a symbol at any given point is defined only by the symbols leading up to it, even though the grammar model uses the same systems and rules for generating all the symbols in the alphabet. To put an Orwellian spin on it, all of our symbols are equal (to the L-system generator), but some symbols are more equal than others (to the interpreters we devise).

Spatial symbolic mapping Another possible scenario for mapping Lindenmayer strings into musical data is to treat the string itself as a type of musical space. The idea is to treat each generation of the L-system as a separate sonic texture, with some sort of system in place to realize the texture and interpret between successive generations of the grammar model (as opposed to our event-literal examples, which focus only on one particular generation of an Lsystem at a time). An easy way to visualize how this would work is to take a class of Lindenmayer systems called context-dependent, or 2L systems.

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