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Conference Papers Year : 2009

On Local Symmetries and Universality in Cellular Automata

Laurent Boyer
Guillaume Theyssier


Cellular automata (CA) are dynamical systems defined by a finite local rule but they are studied for their global dynamics. They can exhibit a wide range of complex behaviours and a celebrated result is the existence of (intrinsically) universal CA, that is CA able to fully simulate any other CA. In this paper, we show that the asymptotic density of universal cellular automata is 1 in several families of CA defined by local symmetries. We extend results previously established for captive cellular automata in two significant ways. First, our results apply to well-known families of CA (e.g. the family of outer-totalistic CA containing the Game of Life) and, second, we obtain such density results with both increasing number of states and increasing neighbourhood. Moreover, thanks to universality-preserving encodings, we show that the universality problem remains undecidable in some of those families.
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Dates and versions

inria-00359174 , version 1 (06-02-2009)


  • HAL Id : inria-00359174 , version 1
  • ARXIV : 0902.1253


Laurent Boyer, Guillaume Theyssier. On Local Symmetries and Universality in Cellular Automata. 26th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science STACS 2009, Feb 2009, Freiburg, Germany. pp.195-206. ⟨inria-00359174⟩
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