Registered: Oct 2005
I'll take a crack at some of these
I'm not an expert on NKS, but I'll take a crack at some of these questions.
I hope people more knowledgeable than me will correct me if I misinform.
I'm skipping the questions I don't think I can answer.
>> "In the algorithmic process from basic rule to complexity is it true that both randomness and that which can be called determined naturally occur? Is this feature present in all known processes which have been produced or measured by cellular automata? Which is the correct word -- produced or measured?"
In the systems usually discussed in this domain, there is no randomness in the algorithm. The algorithms of ECAs, their close derivatives, and the other simple computational systems featured in Wolfram's NKS book (and other books) do not have any algorithmic randomness. I think the answers to the rest of those questions would be a matter of opinion at this moment, as people have different ideas about "natural" processes' randomness or determinism...but many people think there is no such thing as algorithmic randomness in the universe (injected from outside the system, as Wolfram puts it in the NKS book)...rather that "randomness" only exists in the mind of a perceiver of a complex system...that "random" things only look random from (and due to) certain points of view.
>> "Does cellular automata explain how one leaf of one specie of tree will grow precisely into that type of leaf?"
No, not necessarily. Fractals and CAs and all kinds of other modeling techniques might correspond to the growth patterns of leaves, patterns on shells, etc., but as far as I know, right now, the connection that has been drawn between CAs is, to use a word from Wolfram's book, taxonomic...from looking at the output of CAs (or other models) and comparing it with the patterns and structures of leaves, snowflakes, shells, it seems reasonable to conjecture that simple programs (perhaps like CAs in their simplicity and determinism) could have produced the similar patterns seen in nature...but I don't think that it's been shown, nor have I read Wolfram (or anyone) to be saying that CAs, proper, are operating underneath any particular natural outputs.
Last edited by inhaesio zha on 03-19-2010 at 03:30 AM
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