In 1957, J. Myhill presented the firing squad problem. A special case of k-color cellular automata (CA) synchronization, the firing squad problem offers more stringent rules allowing for a provable minimal running time. To date, CA solutions have been found that run in minimal time using as many as sixteen states and as few as six [5]. There have also been arguments against the existence of solutions using only 4 states [11]. Due to the extremely large search space involved with such problems, the existing solutions have all been analytic in nature. We attempt to apply genetic algorithms and genetic programming to create transition tables that solve the firing squad problem. Ideally, the solutions would run in minimal time. No generalized solutions were found, but progress was made towards determining the best strategies for an evolved solution.

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Computer Science (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Computer Science (GCCIS)


Anderson, Peter

Advisor/Committee Member

Homan, Chris

Advisor/Committee Member

Bischof, Hans-Peter


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