I'm trying to improve my Game of life program for school in Python, to be able to run it quicker. So if you have some ideas, I will be glad to hear them.

My current code:

def neighbourhood(m, i, j):
    num = 0
    n_board = len(m)
    for k in range(i-1,i+2):
        for l in range(j-1,j+2):
            if k < 0 or l < 0 or k >= n_board or l >= n_board:
                num = num + 0
                num = num + m[k][l]
    return num

def update(m):
    s = np.copy(m)
    n_board = len(m)
    for i in range(0, n_board):
        for j in range(0, n_board):
            if s[i][j] == 1:
                num = neighbourhood(s, i, j) - 1
                if num <= 1 or num > 3:
                    m[i][j] = 0
                    m[i][j] = 1
                num = neighbourhood(s, i, j)
                if num == 3:
                    m[i][j] = 1
                    m[i][j] = 0

def square(x, y):
    for i in range(4):

def draw(m):
    n_board = len(m)
    for i in range(n_board):
        for j in range(n_board):
            if m[i][j] == 1:
                square(j, (n_board - i - 1))

def main(n_board):
    turtle.setworldcoordinates(0, 0, n_board, n_board)
    turtle.tracer(0, 0)
    board=np.zeros((n_board, n_board), int)
    for i in range(n_board):
        for j in range(n_board):
            if random() < 0.5:
                board[i][j] = 1
    for k in range(100):

So as you can see for the moment i'm only doing 100 repetition and the starting board is randomly created.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to code review. It might be better if your title was about what the code does rather than about the results you are trying to achieve. For a little more help on asking good questions please see the code review guidelines at codereview.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask and codereview.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask. \$\endgroup\$
    – pacmaninbw
    Jul 31, 2019 at 12:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You mention that you are using turtles to display the board. Nothing in your code shows this. You can only ask about code that you show in your question. Since we are on Code Review, complete code is often preferable to shortened code. \$\endgroup\$
    – AlexV
    Jul 31, 2019 at 12:46

1 Answer 1


Since you aren't using any of the things that make numpy fast, this code would be about 2x faster if you just used python lists instead. Alternatively, if you vectorized the update function, you would probably be able to make it much faster. That said, this will not be easy. This question has a very good example of what the result would look like.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank for the answer i'm going to look into it. Any idea to replace turtle which would speed thing up \$\endgroup\$
    – ThomasL
    Jul 31, 2019 at 20:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know much about turtle, but matplotlib is a pain but generally pretty good. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31, 2019 at 20:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes i start by using matplotlib but it was much more harder than using turtle but since turtle is so slow i will go for matplotlib \$\endgroup\$
    – ThomasL
    Jul 31, 2019 at 21:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ PS:Sorry for my english level, i'm doing my best, i'm french. \$\endgroup\$
    – ThomasL
    Jul 31, 2019 at 21:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ no problem. I hadn't noticed \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31, 2019 at 21:38

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