, Volume 68, Issue 5-6, pp 829-882

Phenomenology of nonlocal cellular automata

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Dynamical systems with nonlocal connections have potential applications to economic and biological systems. This paper studies the dynamics of nonlocal cellular automata. In particular, all two-state, three-input nonlocal cellular automata are classified according to the dynamical behavior starting from random initial configurations and random wirings, although it is observed that sometimes a rule can have different dynamical behaviors with different wirings. The nonlocal cellular automata rule space is studied using a mean-field parametrization which is ideal for the situation of random wiring. Nonlocal cellular automata can be considered as computers carrying out computation at the level of each component. Their computational abilities are studied from the point of view of whether they contain many basic logical gates. In particular, I ask the question of whether a three-input cellular automaton rule contains the three fundamental logical gates: two-input rules AND and OR, and one-input rule NOT. A particularly interesting “edge-of-chaos” nonlocal cellular automaton, the rule 184, is studied in detail. It is a system of coupled “selectors” or “multiplexers.” It is also part of the Fredkin's gate—a proposed fundamental gate for conservative computations. This rule exhibits irregular fluctuations of density, large coherent structures, and long transient times.