Cellular Automata variant

This is a simple note on Turing completeness of 2-neighbourhood 1-dimensional Cellular Automata.

A Cellular Automaton (pl. Cellular Automata) is a model of computation based on a grid of cells that evolve according to a simple set of rules. The grid can be multi-dimensional, the most famous and studied cellular automata are 1-dimensional and 2-dimensional. Each cell can be in a particular finite state ($k$-states CA), at each step of the evolution (generation) the cell changes its state according to its current state and the state of its neighboring cells. The number of neighbours considered is finite; for a 1-dimensional CA, the usual choice is the adjacent neighbours. A m-neighbourhood 1-dimensional CA is a CA in which the next state of cell $c_i$ depends on the state of $c_i$ and the state of the $m-1$ adjacent cells; usually $c_i$ is the central cell.

Formally, if $t_n(c_i)$ is the state of cell $c_i$ at time $t_n$:

$$t_{n+1}(c_i) = f( t_n(c_{i-\ell}), …, t_n(c_{i-2}), t_n(c_{i-1}), t_n(c_i), t_n(c_{i+1}), t_n(c_{i+2}), …, t_n(c_{i+\ell}) )$$

and $m = 2\ell+1$.

For more details and basic references see: Das D. (2012) A Survey on Cellular Automata and Its Applications.

Even basic cellular automata can be Turing Complete, for example see the (controversial) proof of Turing completeness of the 3-neighbourhood Cellular Autaton identified by Rule 110 .

If only 1 neigbour is considered (i.e. the next state of a cell only depend on its current state), then we cannot achieve Turing completeness. But with 2-neighbourhood and enough states it’s possible to emulate every CA.

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