This book not only discusses cellular automata (CA) as accouterment for simulation, but also the actual building of devices within cellular automata. CA are widely used tools for simulation in physics, ecology, mathematics, and other fields. But they are also digital "toy universes" worthy of study in their own right, with their own laws of physics and behavior. In studying CA for their own sake, we must look at constructive methods, that is the practice of actually building devices in a given CA that store and process in formation, replicate, and propagate themselves, and interact with other devices in complex ways. By building such machines, we learn what the CA's dynamics are capable of, and build an intuition about how to "engineer" the machine we want. We can also address fundamental questions, such as whether universal computation or even "living" things that reproduce and evolve can exist in the CA's digital world, and perhaps, how these things came to be in out own universe.
- Publication Date:
- 19 / 03 / 2003