cellular automaton


Definition: Usually a two-dimensional organization of simple finite state machines whose next state depends on their own state and the states of their eight closest neighbors. In general the machines may be arranged in meshes of higher or lower dimension, have larger neighborhoods, or be arbitrarily complex processors.

Note: Conway's game of Life is probably the most well known instance of a cellular automaton.

Author: PEB

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Entry modified 17 December 2004.
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Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "cellular automaton", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Paul E. Black, ed. 17 December 2004. (accessed TODAY) Available from: