Posts from 2004

NKS: Two Years Later

(This post was originally published on the NKS Forum.)

I sent the following today to our NKS mailing list:

Today [May 14, 2004] marks the second anniversary of the release of A New Kind of Science. And I’m very happy to be able to report that NKS is continuing to develop extremely well.

A wonderful community is forming around the ideas of NKS. The pace of research and applications is steadily building—with an average of about one new paper now appearing every day. NKS classes and courses are being taught. And several times each week we hear about an ambitious new initiative based on NKS—in technology, or art, or business or somewhere else.

We’re trying to do our part to help. Earlier this year we released the online version of the complete book. We launched the NKS Forum. We just sponsored the second annual conference: NKS 2004. And we’re working hard to make the best possible reference source and meeting place for the NKS community.
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Long-Range Cellular Automata

(This post was originally published on the NKS Forum.)

At the NKS 2004 conference I did my now-traditional “live computer experiment”. This time the topic I picked came from a question someone asked at the minicourse before the conference: does increasing the “range” of a cellular automaton have a big effect on its behavior?

I decided to investigate a simple version of this question.

In an ordinary r=1 cellular automaton, the new color of a particular cell depends on the previous colors of cells with offsets -1, 0, 1. The question I asked was then: what happens if the offsets are larger?

In the simplest non-trivial cellular automata, the color of a cell depends on the previous colors of two cells. In the ordinary short-range case, the cells have offsets -1, 1. But now we can ask what happens if instead they have offsets -1, m. Continue reading