Distributive-Law Semantics for Cellular Automata and Agent-Based Models

  • Baltasar Trancón y Widemann
  • Michael Hauhs
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6859)


We present an effort to give formal semantics to the popular but theoretically rather unreflected scientific modelling paradigm of agent- or individual-based models. To this end, we give a generic formalization of two-dimensional cellular automata with flexible topology as the abstract basis of such models. The semantic approach of structural operational semantics a la Turi and Plotkin [7], based on bialgebras and distributive laws, leads in this case to a natural separation of the concerns of spatial structure, temporal behavior and local interaction. We give a generic distributive law for local behavior of automata and prove the equivalence to a more traditional, array-based formalization.


Cellular Automaton Unique Homomorphism Programming Style Functional Programming Language Structural Operational Semantic 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Baltasar Trancón y Widemann
    • 1
  • Michael Hauhs
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecological ModellingUniversity of BayreuthGermany

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