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On the Emergence of Macro Spatial Structures in Dissipative Cellular Automata, and its Implications for Agent-based Distributed Computing

By Franco Zambonelli and Andrea Roli


This paper describes the peculiar behavior observed in a class of cellular automata that we have defined as "dissipative", i.e., cellular automata that are "open" and makes it possible for the environment to influence the evolution of the automata. Peculiar in the dynamic evolution of this class of cellular automata is that stable macro-level spatial structures emerge from local interactions among cells, a behavior that does not emerge when the cellular automaton is "closed", i.e., when the state of a cell is not influenced by the external world. On this basis, the paper discusses the relations of the performed experiments with the area of open distributed computing, and in particular of agent-based distributed computing. The basic intuition is that dissipative cellular automata express characteristics that strongly resembles those of wide-area open distributed systems based on autonomous and situated active components -- as agents are. Accordingly, similar sorts of macrolevel behaviors are likely to emerge and need to be studied, controlled, and possibly fruitfully exploited

Topics: Cellular Automata, Self-organizing Systems, Open Agent Systems, Agent-oriented Software Engineering
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Year: 2001
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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