Particle-Based Computation

10 Apr 2009 17:40

That is, constructing computational processes out of the interactions of spatially-localized, temporally-persisting, mobile blobs of activity or stuff, in whatever sense of "stuff" or "activity" may be appropriate.

This is a pretty standard trick for studying cellular automata, though there's some evidence it shows up in the real world (see Peak et al. below, which I've discussed in detail elsewhere). It's especially interesting because it seems to show up a lot when you evolve local, decentralized rules to perform global computations.