NAME
Math::PlanePath::Flowsnake  selfsimilar path through hexagons
SYNOPSIS
use Math::PlanePath::Flowsnake;
my $path = Math::PlanePath::Flowsnake>new;
my ($x, $y) = $path>n_to_xy (123);
DESCRIPTION
This path is an integer version of the flowsnake curve by William Gosper,
394041 8
\ \
323334 3837 42 7
\ \ / /
3130 3536 43 4748 6
/ \ \ \
2829 171615 44 46 49.. 5
/ \ \ \ /
27 2322 1819 14 45 4
\ \ \ / /
26 24 2120 13 1110 3
\ / \ / /
25 4 5 6 12 9 2
\ \ /
3 2 7 8 1
/
0 1 y=0
x=4 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
The points are spread out on every second X coordinate to make little triangles with integer coordinates, per "Triangular Lattice" in Math::PlanePath.
The base pattern is the seven points 0 to 6,
4 5 6
\ \
3 2
/
0 1
This repeats at 7fold increasing scale, with subsections rotated according to the edge direction and the 1, 2 and 6 sections in reverse. The next level can be seen at the multipleof7 points N=0,7,14,21,28,35,42,49.
42
 
35 
 
28 49 

 14
  
21 



 7

0 
Notice this is the same shape as N=0 to N=6, but rotated by atan(1/sqrt(7)) = 20.68 degrees anticlockwise. Each level rotates further and for example after about 18 levels it goes all the way around and back to the first quadrant.
The rotation doesn't fill the plane though, only 1/3 of it. The shape fattens as it curls around, but leaves a spiral gap beneath (see "Arms" below).
Tiling
The base pattern corresponds to a tiling by hexagons as follows, with the "***" lines being the base figure.
. .
/ \ / \
/ \ / \
. . .
  
  
4*****5*****6
/*\ / \ /*\
/ * \ / \ / * \
. * . . * .
 *   *
 *  *
. 3*****2 7...
\ / \ /*\ /
\ / \ / * \ /
. . * .
  * 
 * 
0*****1 .
\ / \ /
\ / \ /
. .
In the next level the parts corresponding to 1, 2 and 6 are reversed because they have their hexagon tile to the right of the line segment, rather than to the left.
Arms
The optional arms
parameter can give up to three copies of the flowsnake, each advancing successively. For example arms=>3
is as follows.
arms => 3 514845 5
\ \
... 6966 5457 42 4
\ \ \ / /
282522 78 72 6360 39 3330 3
\ \ \ / \ / /
3134 19 75 121518 36 27 2
/ / \ \ /
4037 16 4 1 9 6 2124 1
/ \ \ /
43 5558 13 7 0 3 7477... < Y=0
\ \ \ \ / \
46 52 61 10 2 811 7168 1
\ / / \ / / /
49 64 7073 5 14 6265 2
\ / / / /
67 76 2017 59 5350 3
/ / \ / /
... 23 3538 56 47 4
\ \ \ /
26 32 4144 5
\ /
29 6
^
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 X=0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Notice the N=3*k points are the plain curve, N=3*k+1 is a copy rotated by 120 degrees (1/3 around), and N=3*k+2 is a copy rotated by 240 degrees (2/3 around). The initial N=1 of the second arm and N=2 of the third correspond to N=3 of the first arm, rotated around.
Essentially the flowsnake fills an ever expanding hexagon with one corner at the origin, and wiggly sides. In the following picture the plain curve fills "A" and there's room for two more arms to fill B and C, rotated 120 and 240 degrees respectively.
**
/ \
** A *
/ \ /
* B O*
\ / \
** C *
\ /
**
The sides of these "hexagons" are not straight lines but instead wild wiggly spiralling S shapes, and the endpoints rotate around by the angle described above at each level. Opposing sides are symmetric, so they mesh perfectly and with three arms fill the plane.
Fractal
The flowsnake can also be thought of as successively subdividing line segments with suitably scaled copies of the 0 to 7 figure (or its reversal).
The code here could be used for that by taking points N=0 to N=7^level. The Y coordinates should be multiplied by sqrt(3) to make proper equilateral triangles, then a rotation and scaling to make the endpoint come out at some desired point, such as X=1,Y=0. With such a scaling the path is confined to a finite fractal boundary.
FUNCTIONS
See "FUNCTIONS" in Math::PlanePath for behaviour common to all path classes.
$path = Math::PlanePath::Flowsnake>new ()
$path = Math::PlanePath::Flowsnake>new (arms => $a)

Create and return a new flowsnake path object.
The optional
arms
parameter gives between 1 and 3 copies of the curve successively advancing. ($x,$y) = $path>n_to_xy ($n)

Return the X,Y coordinates of point number
$n
on the path. Points begin at 0 and if$n < 0
then the return is an empty list.Fractional positions give an X,Y position along a straight line between the integer positions.
($n_lo, $n_hi) = $path>rect_to_n_range ($x1,$y1, $x2,$y2)

In the current code the returned range is exact, meaning
$n_lo
and$n_hi
are the smallest and biggest in the rectangle, but don't rely on that yet since finding the exact range is a touch on the slow side. (The advantage of which though is that it helps avoid very big ranges from a simple overestimate.)
FORMULAS
N to X,Y
The position of a given N can be calculated from the base7 digits of N from high to low. At a given digit position the state maintained is
direction 0 to 5, multiple of 60degrees
plain or reverse pattern
It's convenient to work in the "i,j" coordinates per "Triangular Calculations" in Math::PlanePath. This represents a point in the triangular grid as i+j*w where w=1/2+I*sqrt(3)/2 the a complex sixth root of unity at +60 degrees.
foreach base7 digit high to low
(i,j) = (2ij, i+3j) # multiply by 2+w
(i,j) += position of digit in plain or reverse,
and rotated by "direction"
The multiply by 2+w scales up i,j by that vector, so for instance i=1,j=0 becomes i=2,j=1. This spreads the points as per the multipleof7 diagram shown above, so what was at N scales up to 7*N.
The digit is then added as either the plain or reversed base figure,
plain reverse
4>5>6
^ ^
\ \
3>2 * 6<*
/ ^
v /
0>1 0 5<4
\ \
v v
1<2<3
The arrow shown in each part is whether the state becomes plain or reverse. For example in plain state at digit=1 the arrow points backwards so if digit=1 then the state changes to reverse for the next digit. The direction likewise follows the direction of each segment in the pattern.
Notice the endpoint "*" is at at 2+w in both patterns. When considering the rotation it's convenient to reckon the direction by this endpoint.
The combination of direction and plain/reverse is a total of 14 different states, and for each there's 7 digit values (0 to 6) for a total 84 i,j.
X,Y to N
The current approach uses the FlowsnakeCentres
code. The tiling in Flowsnake
and FlowsnakeCentres
is the same so the X,Y of a given N are no more than 1 away in the grid of the two forms.
The way the two lowest shapes are arranged in fact means that if the Flowsnake N is at X,Y then the same N in FlowsnakeCentres
is at one of three locations
X, Y same
X2, Y left (+180 degrees)
X1, Y1 left down (+240 degrees)
This is true even when the rotated "arms" multiple paths (the same number of arms in both paths).
Is there an easy way to know which of the three offsets is right? The current approach is to put each through FlowsnakeCentres
to make an N, and put that N back through Flowsnake n_to_xy()
to see if it's the target $n
.
Rectangle to N Range
The current code calculates an exact rect_to_n_range()
by searching for the highest and lowest Ns which are in the rectangle.
The curve at a given level is bounded by the Gosper island shape but the wiggly sides make it difficult to calculate, so a bounding radius sqrt(7)^level, plus a bit, is used. The portion of the curve comprising a given set of high digits of N can be excluded if the N point is more than that radius away from the rectangle.
When a part of the curve is excluded it prunes a whole branch of the digits tree. When the lowest digit is reached then a check for that point being actually within the rectangle is made. The radius calculation is a bit rough, and it doesn't take into account the direction of the curve, so it's a rather large overestimate, but it works.
The same sort of search can be applied for highest and lowest N in a nonrectangular shapes, calculating a radial distance away from the shape. The distance calculation doesn't have to be exact either, it can go from something bounding the shape until the lowest digit is reached and an individual X,Y is considered as a candidate for high or low N.
N to Turn
The turn made by the curve at a point N>=1 can be calculated from the lowest non0 digit and the plain/reverse state per the lowest non3 above there.
N digits in base 7
strip low 0 digits, zcount many of them
zdigit = take low digit
strip low 3 digits
tdigit = take low digit (0 if no digits left)
plain if tdigit=0,4,5, reverse if tdigit=1,2,6
if zcount=0 if zcount>=1
ie. no low 0s ie. some low 0s
zdigit plain reverse plain reverse
    
1 1 1 1 1
2 2 0 1 1 turn left
3 1 2 1 1 multiple of
4 2 1 1 1 60 degrees
5 0 2 1 1
6 1 1 1 1
For example N=9079 is base7 "35320" so a single low 0 for zcount=1 and strip it to "3532". Take zdigit=2 leaving "353". Skip low 3s leaving "35". Take tdigit=5 which is "plain". So table "plain" with zcount>=1 is the third column and there zdigit=2 is turn=+1.
The turns in the zcount=0 "no low 0s" columns follow the turns of the base pattern shown above. For example zdigit=1 is as per N=1 turning 120 degrees left, so +2. For the reverse pattern the turns are negated and the zdigit value reversed, so the "reverse" column read 6 to 1 is the same as the plain column negated and read 1 to 6.
Low 0s are stripped because the turn at a point such as N=7 ("10" in base7) is determined by the pattern above it, the selfsimilar multipleof7s shape. But when there's low 0s in the way there's an adjustment to apply because the last segment of the base pattern is not in the same direction as the first, but instead at 60 degrees. Likewise the first segment of the reverse pattern. At some zdigit positions those two cancel out, such as at zdigit=1 where a plain and reverse meet, but others it's not so and hence separate table columns for with or without low 0s.
The plain or reverse pattern is determined by the lowest non3 digit. This works because the digit=0, digit=4, and digit=5 segments of the base pattern have their subparts "plain" in all cases, both the plain and reverse forms. Conversely digit=1, digit=2 and digit=6 segments are "reverse" in all cases, both plain and reverse forms. But the digit=3 part is plain in plain and reverse in reverse, so it inherits the orientation of the digit above and it's therefore necessary to skip across any 3s.
When taking digits, N is treated as having infinite 0digits at the high end. This only affects the tdigit plain/reverse step. If N has a single nonzero such as "5000" then it's taken as zdigit=5 and above that for the plain/reverse a tdigit=0 is then assumed. The first turn is at N=1 so there's always at least one non0 for the zdigit.
SEE ALSO
Math::PlanePath, Math::PlanePath::FlowsnakeCentres, Math::PlanePath::GosperIslands
Math::PlanePath::KochCurve, Math::PlanePath::HilbertCurve, Math::PlanePath::PeanoCurve, Math::PlanePath::ZOrderCurve
"New Gosper Space Filling Curves" by Fukuda, Shimizu and Nakamura. On flowsnake variations in bigger hexagons (with wiggly sides too).
http://kilin.clas.kitasatou.ac.jp/museum/gosperex/343024.pdf or http://web.archive.org/web/20070630031400/http://kilin.ushizuokaken.ac.jp/museum/gosperex/343024.pdf
HOME PAGE
http://user42.tuxfamily.org/mathplanepath/index.html
LICENSE
Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Kevin Ryde
This file is part of MathPlanePath.
MathPlanePath is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3, or (at your option) any later version.
MathPlanePath is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with MathPlanePath. If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.