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Thanks Mario! Shaved a couple more seconds:

• Got rid of state (didn't seem to make it any faster)
• Switched off warnings (admittedly this didn't make much, if any, difference)
• Some other minor tweaks
See "Mario improvements" entries in "Benchmark Results" section of root node for speed comparison with original Organism.pm.

```package Organism;

use strict;

sub count { scalar keys %{ shift->{Cells} } }

# Input a list of [ x, y ] coords
sub insert_cells {
my \$cells = shift->{Cells};
for my \$r (@_) { \$cells->{ pack 'i2', @{\$r} } = undef }
}

# Return sorted list of cells in the Organism.
# Used for verification and testing the state of the organism.
sub get_live_cells {
sort { \$a->[0] <=> \$b->[0] || \$a->[1] <=> \$b->[1] }
map { [ unpack 'i2', \$_ ] } keys %{ shift->{Cells} };
}

sub tick {
my \$self  = shift;
my \$cells = \$self->{Cells};
my ( \$k1, \$k2, \$k3, \$k4, \$k5, \$k6, \$k7, \$k8,
\$x0, \$x1, \$x2, \$y0, \$y1, \$y2, %newcells );

for my \$c (keys %{ \$cells }) {
# Get the (up to 8) dead cells surrounding the cell
( \$x0, \$y0 ) = unpack 'i2', \$c;
( \$x1, \$x2, \$y1, \$y2 ) = ( \$x0 - 1, \$x0 + 1, \$y0 - 1, \$y0 + 1 );
my @zcells = (
(\$k1 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k1}),
(\$k2 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y0) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k2}),
(\$k3 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k3}),
(\$k4 = pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k4}),
(\$k5 = pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k5}),
(\$k6 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k6}),
(\$k7 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y0) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k7}),
(\$k8 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k8})  );

# Check the live cell (next line equivalent to nlive==2 || nlive
+==3)
@zcells == 5 || @zcells == 6 and \$newcells{\$c} = undef;

# Check the dead cells
for my \$z (@zcells) {
( \$x0, \$y0 ) = unpack 'i2', \$z;
( \$x1, \$x2, \$y1, \$y2 ) = ( \$x0 - 1, \$x0 + 1, \$y0 - 1, \$y0 + 1
+ );
exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y1})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y0})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y2})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y1})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y2})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y1})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y0})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y2}) == 3 and \$newcells{\$z
+} = undef;
}
}
\$self->{Cells} = \%newcells;
}

sub new {
my \$class = shift;
my %init_self = ( Cells => {} );
bless \%init_self, \$class;
}

1;

Update: Minor stylistic edits were made to Organism.pm above. Note that changing the main loop above from:

```for my \$c (keys %{ \$cells }) {
to:
```while ( my (\$c) = each %{ \$cells } ) {
uses less memory - though I couldn't measure any difference in speed.

Update: This one is shorter, but a bit slower:

```sub tick {
my \$self  = shift;
my \$cells = \$self->{Cells};
my ( \$k1, \$k2, \$k3, \$k4, \$k5, \$k6, \$k7, \$k8,
\$x0, \$x1, \$x2, \$y0, \$y1, \$y2 );
%{\$cells} = map {
( \$x0, \$y0 ) = unpack 'i2', \$_;
( \$x1, \$x2, \$y1, \$y2 ) = ( \$x0 - 1, \$x0 + 1, \$y0 - 1, \$y0 + 1 );
my @zcells = (
(\$k1 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k1}),
(\$k2 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y0) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k2}),
(\$k3 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k3}),
(\$k4 = pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k4}),
(\$k5 = pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k5}),
(\$k6 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k6}),
(\$k7 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y0) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k7}),
(\$k8 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k8})  );
(\$_, undef) x (@zcells == 5 || @zcells == 6),
map { ( \$x0, \$y0 ) = unpack 'i2', \$_;
( \$x1, \$x2, \$y1, \$y2 ) = ( \$x0 - 1, \$x0 + 1, \$y0 - 1, \$y0 +
+1 );
(\$_, undef) x ( exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y1})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y0})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y2})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y1})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y2})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y1})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y0})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y2}) == 3 ) } @zcells
} keys %{\$cells};
}
as is this one:
```sub tick {
my \$self  = shift;
my \$cells = \$self->{Cells};
my ( \$k1, \$k2, \$k3, \$k4, \$k5, \$k6, \$k7, \$k8,
\$x0, \$x1, \$x2, \$y0, \$y1, \$y2 );
my %newcells;
@newcells{map {
( \$x0, \$y0 ) = unpack 'i2', \$_;
( \$x1, \$x2, \$y1, \$y2 ) = ( \$x0 - 1, \$x0 + 1, \$y0 - 1, \$y0 + 1 );
my @zcells = (
(\$k1 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k1}),
(\$k2 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y0) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k2}),
(\$k3 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k3}),
(\$k4 = pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k4}),
(\$k5 = pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k5}),
(\$k6 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k6}),
(\$k7 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y0) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k7}),
(\$k8 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k8})  );
(\$_) x (@zcells == 5 || @zcells == 6),
map { ( \$x0, \$y0 ) = unpack 'i2', \$_;
( \$x1, \$x2, \$y1, \$y2 ) = ( \$x0 - 1, \$x0 + 1, \$y0 - 1, \$y0 +
+1 );
(\$_) x ( exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y1})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y0})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y2})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y1})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y2})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y1})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y0})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y2}) == 3 ) } @zcells
} keys %{\$cells} } = undef;
\$self->{Cells} = \%newcells;
}
I'm guessing they are slower because the list of cells used in the hash slice contains many duplicate dead cells.

Update: Changing:

```my @zcells = (
(\$k1 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k1}),
(\$k2 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y0) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k2}),
(\$k3 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k3}),
(\$k4 = pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k4}),
(\$k5 = pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k5}),
(\$k6 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k6}),
(\$k7 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y0) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k7}),
(\$k8 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k8})  );
to:
```my @zcells = grep( !exists(\$cells->{\$_}),
pack('i2', \$x1, \$y1),
pack('i2', \$x1, \$y0),
pack('i2', \$x1, \$y2),
pack('i2', \$x0, \$y1),
pack('i2', \$x0, \$y2),
pack('i2', \$x2, \$y1),
pack('i2', \$x2, \$y0),
pack('i2', \$x2, \$y2) );
was slightly slower.

This one was also slower:

```sub tick {
my \$self  = shift;
my \$cells = \$self->{Cells};
my ( \$k1, \$k2, \$k3, \$k4, \$k5, \$k6, \$k7, \$k8,
\$x0, \$x1, \$x2, \$y0, \$y1, \$y2, \$z, %newcells );

for my \$c (keys %{ \$cells }) {
# Get the (up to 8) dead cells surrounding the cell
( \$x0, \$y0 ) = unpack 'i2', \$c;
( \$x1, \$x2, \$y1, \$y2 ) = ( \$x0 - 1, \$x0 + 1, \$y0 - 1, \$y0 + 1 );
my @zcells = (
(\$x1, \$y1, \$k1 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k1}
+),
(\$x1, \$y0, \$k2 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y0) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k2}
+),
(\$x1, \$y2, \$k3 = pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k3}
+),
(\$x0, \$y1, \$k4 = pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k4}
+),
(\$x0, \$y2, \$k5 = pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k5}
+),
(\$x2, \$y1, \$k6 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y1) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k6}
+),
(\$x2, \$y0, \$k7 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y0) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k7}
+),
(\$x2, \$y2, \$k8 = pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y2) x !exists(\$cells->{\$k8}
+)  );

# Check the live cell (next line equivalent to nlive==2 || nlive
+==3)
@zcells == 15 || @zcells == 18 and \$newcells{\$c} = undef;

# Check the dead cells
while (@zcells) {
( \$x0, \$y0, \$z ) = splice @zcells, 0, 3;
( \$x1, \$x2, \$y1, \$y2 ) = ( \$x0 - 1, \$x0 + 1, \$y0 - 1, \$y0 + 1
+ );
exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y1})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y0})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x1, \$y2})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y1})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x0, \$y2})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y1})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y0})
+ exists(\$cells->{pack 'i2', \$x2, \$y2}) == 3 and \$newcells{\$z
+} = undef;
}
}
\$self->{Cells} = \%newcells;
}

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