Paper abstract

Upper Bound on the Products of Particle Interactions in Cellular Automata

Wim Hordijk, Cosma R. Shalizi, and James P. Crutchfield

Physica D 154, 240-258, 2001.

Particle-like objects are observed to propagate and interact in many spatially extended dynamical systems. For one of the simplest classes of such systems, one-dimensional cellular automata, we establish a rigorous upper bound on the number of distinct products that these interactions can generate. The upper bound is controlled by the structural complexity of the interacting particles---a quantity which is defined here and which measures the amount of spatio-temporal information that a particle stores. Along the way we establish a number of properties of domains and particles that follow from the computational mechanics analysis of cellular automata; thereby elucidating why that approach is of general utility. The upper bound is tested against several relatively complex domain-particle cellular automata and found to be tight.