Adventures in Machine Learning

Unveiling the Infinite Complexity of the Mandelbrot Set

The Mystery Behind the Mandelbrot Set: A Fractal Masterpiece

Fractals, defined as shapes that exhibit self-similarity over different scales of magnitude, are fascinatingly complex and captivating. One of the best-known fractals is the Mandelbrot Set, named after Benoit Mandelbrot, who discovered it in the early 1980s.

The Mandelbrot Set is a mathematical set, created by applying a simple recursive formula to a complex number. In this article, we will explore the Mandelbrot Set, its boundary of iterative stability, and the maps of Julia sets.

Furthermore, we will delve into the process of generating and plotting the set using Python’s Matplotlib. What is the Mandelbrot Set?

The Mandelbrot Set is the set of complex numbers c for which a recursive formula based on the Mandelbrot sequence (z_n) diverges when c is taken as the initial value of z_0. The formula is z_n+1 = z_n^2 + c, where z_0 = c.

The term `diverging` simply means that the sequence of values generated by the recursive formula gets larger and larger without bounds. However, if the sequence remains bounded, it means that the value of `c` is in the Mandelbrot Set.

The Mandelbrot Set is a magnificent example of fractal geometry, and it exhibits self-similarity on different scales. This means that the set has similar shapes appearing at different magnifications.

In fact, most people refer to the Mandelbrot Set as the most complex object ever discovered.

Boundary of Iterative Stability

The recursive formula used to create the Mandelbrot Set generates the sequence of values (z_n). If the values of the sequence stay relatively close together and do not diverge, it is called iterative stability.

The boundary of iterative stability refers to the point where the sequence of values starts diverging. If we plot the values that do not diverge in the complex plane, we can visualize the Mandelbrot Set.

It is a remarkable set, with intricate patterns, veins, and spirals. Interestingly, the closer we get to the boundary of the set, the more complex it becomes.

For instance, the `Mandelbrot Bulb` is a region inside the set that is connected to the main cardioid part of the set. It looks similar to the inverse of a cardioid, and it has an intricate structure of mini-Mandelbrot sets.

Map of Julia Sets

Connected Julia sets are subsets of the Complex plane that are in one way or the other connected to the Mandelbrot set. It is named after French mathematician Gaston Julia, who discovered it in 1918.

The Mandelbrot Set provides a map of Julia sets, which are also fractals created using recursive formulas. The Julia Set is the set of complex numbers that do not diverge.

However, unique properties of the set may vary, depending on the constants used in the formula. The set varies in its intricacy, with some having a simple circular or square shape, while others are complex and dense.

In contrast, the Mandelbrot set and connected Julia sets exhibit similarities in their appearance, with the shapes becoming more intricate as they approach the boundary of the set. Plotting the Mandelbrot Set Using Python’s Matplotlib

Python is an excellent tool for plotting fractals since it offers powerful libraries such as NumPy and Matplotlib.

Matplotlib is a 2D Plotting library used in Python programming language. In this section, we will explore the process of generating and plotting the Mandelbrot Set using Matplotlib.

Generating Candidate Values

The first step to plotting the Mandelbrot Set is to generate candidate values for `c`. In this case, we can use NumPy’s `linspace()` function, which returns evenly spaced values within a given interval.

We can use this method to generate a range of complex numbers over the specified range. The generated complex number represents the real and imaginary parts of the candidate value of `c`.

Recursive Formula Calculation

Once we’ve generated a range of candidate values of `c`, the next step is to check whether each value belongs to the Mandelbrot Set. We can use the recursive formula we earlier discussed and iterate it for a certain number of times, say 100.

If the values of the sequence do not diverge and remain bounded, the generated candidate value is inside the set. NumPy employs vectorization and broadcasting techniques to speed up the calculation process by running the operations parallelly.

Furthermore, we can use a Boolean mask to keep track of the values that do not diverge.

Managing Overflows

During the recursive calculation process, it is common to face the issue of overflow errors due to the sequence values getting progressively larger. To manage this issue, we can set a limit beyond which the sequence values will be considered as having diverged.

We can also use floating-point data types of higher precision to mitigate this issue.


In conclusion, the Mandelbrot Set is a stunning example of fractal geometry. Its self-similarity on different scales, intricate patterns, and veins, make it a fascinating area of study in mathematics.

We explored the boundary of iterative stability and the maps of Julia sets, which are closely related to the Mandelbrot Set. Additionally, we covered the process of generating and plotting the Mandelbrot Set using Python’s Matplotlib.

By generating candidate values using NumPy, performing iterative calculations, dealing with overflows, and plotting the points, we were able to visualize the Mandelbrot Set.

Low-Resolution Scatter Plot of the Mandelbrot Set

A basic visual representation of the Mandelbrot Set can be created by plotting the points associated with the candidate values of c that are within the Mandelbrot Set. In this case, each point location corresponds to the candidate value’s real and imaginary component, and the point’s color indicates whether the value is inside or outside the set.

To create a low-resolution scatter plot, we can divide the complex plane into a grid of discrete points. Then, we iterate the recursive formula for each of these points and plot the points that do not diverge.

Using a black-and-white color scheme, points inside the set are given a black color, while points outside the set are given white.

High-Resolution Black-and-White Visualization of the Mandelbrot Set

The low-resolution scatter plot provides an intuitive and straightforward visualization of the Mandelbrot Set. However, it doesn’t capture the details and intricacies that are present in the set.

For a more detailed and high-resolution visualization, we can use a technique called anti-aliasing. This technique smoothens the jagged and rough edges around the fractal, making the visualization more aesthetically pleasing.

Removing Banding Artifacts

Banding artifacts are visible horizontal and vertical lines that occur due to rounding errors of the floating-point computations. These artifacts can be removed by applying an image processing technique called anti-aliasing.

Anti-aliasing is the process of reducing the distortion artifacts in digital images by smoothing or blending the pixel values to make the image appear smoother to the human eye. In Python, we can use the Pillow library’s anti-aliasing functionality to remove these artifacts.

Finding Convergent and Divergent Elements

The Mandelbrot Set is highly complex and has an infinite number of elements within it. Therefore, it is challenging to distinguish between convergent and divergent elements just by visual inspection.

To solve this issue, contour lines are used to find the convergent and divergent points in the set. Contour lines denote the region where the iterative process produces a certain number of diverging values before converging.

A higher number of diverging values indicates a point that is farther from the set’s boundary.

In addition to contour lines, we can also use the escape count to visualize the set’s features.

The escape count is the total number of times the recursive formula diverges before converging. By analyzing the escape count, we can classify the elements of the set into three groups – convergent elements, divergent elements, and elements with mixed behavior.

The convergent elements of the Mandelbrot Set are surrounded by intricate patterns called mini-Mandelbrot sets. These sets also follow the recursive formula z_n+1 = z_n^2 + c, and they have complex patterns similar to the Mandelbrot Set.

The mini-Mandelbrot sets are self-similar to the parent set, and we can zoom in on them to reveal their intricate details.


In conclusion, the Mandelbrot Set is a complex fractal and has many interesting aspects to explore. By using a low-resolution scatter plot, we can get an intuitive understanding of the set’s overall structure.

However, for a more detailed visualization, we need to use advanced techniques such as anti-aliasing for removing banding artifacts, contour lines for finding convergent and divergent points, and escape count to classify the set’s elements. These techniques allow us to explore the intricate details and patterns hidden within the set.

With such diverse and unique patterns, the Mandelbrot Set has become one of the most prominent objects in the field of fractal geometry, capturing the imagination of mathematicians and scientists alike.

Drawing the Mandelbrot Set with Pillow

In addition to creating scatter plots of the Mandelbrot Set, it is also possible to generate artistic representations of it. The Python library Pillow offers an easy-to-use toolset for drawing the set.

Through Pillow, we can create PNG images of the Mandelbrot Set with custom color schemes.

Generating PNG Images

The first step in creating artistic representations of the Mandelbrot Set is to generate PNG images. The Pillow library provides the Image and ImageDraw modules that we can use to create PNG images.

The function can create a blank image buffer with a specified size and background color. Once the buffer is created, we can draw on it using the ImageDraw.Draw() function.

The method can then be used to save the image as a PNG file.

Color Palette Customization

Once we’ve created the PNG images for the Mandelbrot Set, we can customize the color palette to create different effects. In Pillow, we can use color schemes by specifying the color as a tuple of integers that represent the red, green, and blue components of the color.

We can also use the PIL.ImageColor function to get colors based on color names or hex codes.

Making an Artistic Representation of the Mandelbrot Set

Color Gradient

A color gradient is a range of colors that merge into each other. By using color gradients, we can create smooth transitions between colors in the image.

In Python, we can use the Matplotlib package to create a color gradient by specifying the desired color scheme and color spectrum.

One way to achieve a color gradient is through linear interpolation between two or more colors.

For example, if we want to create a gradient that transitions from blue to red, we can define the two colors as tuples of RGB values and use Matplotlib’s LinearSegmentedColormap function to specify the color gradient.

Color Model

Color representation in digital images is commonly done using the RGB color model, where colors are defined by their red, green, and blue components. However, other color models such as HSL (Hue, Saturation, Lightness) and HSV (Hue, Saturation, Value) can also be used to represent colors.

Converting between color models can be done using Python libraries such as colorsys. In addition to creating color gradients based on a single color model, we can also create gradients that shift between different color models.

For example, we can create a gradient that starts with hue values in the HSV color model and transitions to lightness values in the HSL color model.


In conclusion, creating artistic representations of the Mandelbrot Set is a fascinating way to explore the intricate patterns and structures of this fractal. The Pillow library offers tools for generating PNG images of the set with custom color schemes, and the Matplotlib package provides the functionality for creating color gradients.

By applying color gradients and shifting between different color models, we can create visually stunning representations of the Mandelbrot Set that highlight its complex beauty.


In this tutorial, we explored the Mandelbrot Set, one of the most fascinating objects in mathematics and computer science. We started by understanding the basic concept of the Mandelbrot Set as the set of complex numbers generated by the recursive formula z_n+1 = z_n^2 + c.

We then discussed the boundary of iterative stability and the maps of Julia sets, which are closely related to the Mandelbrot Set. We explored various techniques for generating and plotting the Mandelbrot Set using Python’s Matplotlib library, such as generating candidate values, performing recursive calculations, and managing overflows.

We also covered the process of creating a low-resolution scatter plot and a high-resolution black-and-white visualization of the set using anti-aliasing and contour lines.

We then moved on to creating artistic representations of the Mandelbrot Set using the Pillow library, generating PNG images with custom color schemes, and creating beautiful color gradients using the Matplotlib package.

We discussed color models such as RGB, HSL, and HSV and how they can be used to create stunning artistic representations of the Mandelbrot Set.

The Mandelbrot Set is an object that contains limitless complexity, and exploring it offers countless avenues for creativity.

The various techniques discussed in this tutorial provide a solid foundation for further exploration of the set, and they are only scratching the surface of the plethora of possibilities for understanding and representing this fascinating fractal.

In conclusion, the Mandelbrot Set is an excellent object for exploring the intricate patterns and structures of fractals.

From low-resolution scatter plots to high-resolution black-and-white images and artistic representations, we can explore the set’s infinite complexity. The more we delve into the set, the more it inspires us to think creatively and continue to explore the boundaries of its infinite complexity.

The Mandelbrot Set is a fascinating object that offers endless possibilities for exploration and creativity. In this article, we discussed various techniques for understanding and representing the set, from plotting low-resolution scatter plots to generating high-resolution black-and-white images and artistic representations using color gradients.

Python libraries such as Matplotlib and Pillow provide a solid foundation for further exploration of the Mandelbrot Set and its infinite complexity.

The relevance and importance of the Mandelbrot Set lie in its ability to inspire creativity and further our understanding of fractals.

By exploring this extraordinary fractal object, we can gain new insights into the beauty and intricacy of mathematics and the natural world.

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