Tommaso Toffoli and Norman Margolus

Cellular automata machines

Cellular Automata (CA's) such as the Game of Life are well known, but if you want to look further into the subject then you should take a look at Cellular automata machines : a new environment for modeling by Tommaso Toffoli and Norman Margolus. The first part of the book gives a short overview of the field. The book then gets on to the different types of CA's and how they can be implemented, including a look at how to include randomness in your modelling. The third part of the book deals with different physical systems which can be modelled with CA's. These include diffusion, fluid dynamics and ballistic computers as well as collective phenomena such as Ising systems and spin glasses.

The book is based on a dedicated machine for running CA's called the CAM, running a version of FORTH. Nowadays Moore's law means that almost everyone would use a PC for such modelling. I didn't feel that this difference was a problem, rather the details of their machine gave a better idea of what was happening in the CA's and would be valuable for anyone who wants to program CA's themselves. The authors' consideration of reversible CA's and how they can show the consequences of reversibilty of microphysics is also very useful. This is a short book, but covers plenty of topics, and I'd recommend it to anyone considering using CA's to model physical systems.

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Hardcover 200 pages  
ISBN: 0262200600
Salesrank: 182146
Weight:1.62 lbs
Published: 1987 The MIT Press
Marketplace:New from $68.80:Used from $6.09
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 259 pages  
ISBN: 0262200600
Salesrank: 2444703
Weight:1.62 lbs
Published: 1987 MIT Press
Marketplace:New from £90.29:Used from £22.74
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Hardcover 259 pages  
ISBN: 0262200600
Salesrank: 1329331
Weight:1.62 lbs
Published: 1987 The MIT Press
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 91.67:Used from CDN$ 35.32
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Product Description

Recently, cellular automata machines with the size, speed, and flexibility for general experimentation at a moderate cost have become available to the scientific community. These machines provide a laboratory in which the ideas presented in this book can be tested and applied to the synthesis of a great variety of systems. Computer scientists and researchers interested in modeling and simulation as well as other scientists who do mathematical modeling will find this introduction to cellular automata and cellular automata machines (CAM) both useful and timely.Cellular automata are the computer scientist's counterpart to the physicist's concept of 'field' They provide natural models for many investigations in physics, combinatorial mathematics, and computer science that deal with systems extended in space and evolving in time according to local laws. A cellular automata machine is a computer optimized for the simulation of cellular automata. Its dedicated architecture allows it to run thousands of times faster than a general-purpose computer of comparable cost programmed to do the same task. In practical terms this permits intensive interactive experimentation and opens up new fields of research in distributed dynamics, including practical applications involving parallel computation and image processing.Contents: Introduction. Cellular Automata. The CAM Environment. A Live Demo. The Rules of the Game. Our First rules. Second-order Dynamics. The Laboratory. Neighbors and Neighborhood. Running. Particle Motion. The Margolus Neighborhood. Noisy Neighbors. Display and Analysis. Physical Modeling. Reversibility. Computing Machinery. Hydrodynamics. Statistical Mechanics. Other Applications. Imaging Processing. Rotations. Pattern Recognition. Multiple CAMS. Perspectives and Conclusions.Tommaso Toffoli and Norman Margolus are researchers at the Laboratory for Computer Science at MIT. Cellular Automata Machines is included in the Scientific Computation Series, edited by Dennis Cannon.