Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Natural ComplexityA Modeling Handbook$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paul Charbonneau

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691176840

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691176840.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Iterated Growth

Iterated Growth

(p.23) 2 Iterated Growth
Natural Complexity

Paul Charbonneau

Princeton University Press

This chapter shows how complex shapes and forms encountered in the natural world result from a growth process driven by the repeated action of simple “rules.” To examine this general idea, the chapter focuses on cellular automata, arguably the simplest type of computer programs conceivable yet can sometimes exhibit behaviors that are extremely complex. Cellular automata are also a classic example of simple rules being able to produce complex global “patterns” that cannot be inferred or predicted even if we have complete, a priori knowledge of these rules. The chapter first considers cellular automata in one and two spatial dimensions before discussing a zoo of two-dimensional structures from simple rules. It then describes the role of agents in iterated growth as well as emergent structures and behaviors that can be produced by cellular automata. The chapter includes exercises and further computational explorations, along with suggested materials for further reading.

Keywords:   growth, cellular automata, computer program, simple rules, agents, emergent structure, emergent behavior, iterated growth

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.