We introduce an algebraic approach for the analysis and composition of finite, discrete-time dynamical systems based on the category-theoretical operations of product and sum (coproduct). This allows us to define a semiring structure over the set of dynamical systems (modulo isomorphism) and, consequently, to express many decomposition problems in terms of polynomial equations. We prove that these equations are, in general, algorithmically unsolvable, but we identify a solvable subclass. Finally, we describe an implementation of the semiring operations for the case of finite cellular automata.
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