An L-system or Lindenmayer system is a parallel rewriting system, namely a variant of a formal grammar (a set of rules and symbols), most famously used to model the growth processes of plant development, but also able to model the morphology of a variety of organisms. L-systems can also be used to generate self-similar fractals such as iterated function systems. L-systems were introduced and developed in 1968 by the Hungarian theoretical biologist and botanist from the University of Utrecht, Aristid Lindenmayer (1925–1989).
The recursive nature of the L-system rules leads to self-similarity and thereby fractal-like forms which are easy to describe with an L-system. Plant models and natural-looking organic forms are similarly easy to define, as by increasing the recursion level the form slowly ‘grows’ and becomes more complex. Lindenmayer systems are also popular in the generation of artificial life.
Using L-systems for generating graphical images requires that the symbols in the model refer to elements of a drawing on the computer screen. Lindsystems therefore uses turtle graphics (similar to those in the Logo programming language) to produce screen images. It interprets each constant in an L-system model as a turtle command
The embedded graphics show some of the fractals that can be created with Lindsystems.
“L-system.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 19 Mar 2009, 08:34 UTC. 27 Mar 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=L-system&oldid=278293434>