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DOI: 10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2009.1836
URN: urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-18369
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Boyer, Laurent ; Theyssier, Guillaume

On Local Symmetries and Universality in Cellular Automata

09001.BoyerLaurent.1836.pdf (0.2 MB)


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 reviously 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.

BibTeX - Entry

  author =	{Laurent Boyer and Guillaume Theyssier},
  title =	{{On Local Symmetries and Universality in Cellular Automata}},
  booktitle =	{26th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science},
  pages =	{195--206},
  series =	{Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)},
  ISBN =	{978-3-939897-09-5},
  ISSN =	{1868-8969},
  year =	{2009},
  volume =	{3},
  editor =	{Susanne Albers and Jean-Yves Marion},
  publisher =	{Schloss Dagstuhl--Leibniz-Zentrum fuer Informatik},
  address =	{Dagstuhl, Germany},
  URL =		{},
  URN =		{urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-18369},
  doi =		{10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2009.1836},
  annote =	{Keywords: Cellular automata, Universality, Asymptotic density}

Keywords: Cellular automata, Universality, Asymptotic density
Collection: 26th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science
Issue Date: 2009
Date of publication: 19.02.2009

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