On the Equivalence of Cellular Automata and the Tile Assembly Model

Jacob Hendricks
(University of Arkansas)
Matthew J. Patitz
(University of Arkansas)

In this paper, we explore relationships between two models of systems which are governed by only the local interactions of large collections of simple components: cellular automata (CA) and the abstract Tile Assembly Model (aTAM). While sharing several similarities, the models have fundamental differences, most notably the dynamic nature of CA (in which every cell location is allowed to change state an infinite number of times) versus the static nature of the aTAM (in which tiles are static components that can never change or be removed once they attach to a growing assembly). We work with 2-dimensional systems in both models, and for our results we first define what it means for CA systems to simulate aTAM systems, and then for aTAM systems to simulate CA systems. We use notions of simulate which are similar to those used in the study of intrinsic universality since they are in some sense strict, but also intuitively natural notions of simulation. We then demonstrate a particular nondeterministic CA which can be configured so that it can simulate any arbitrary aTAM system, and finally an aTAM tile set which can be configured so that it can be used to simulate any arbitrary nondeterministic CA system which begins with a finite initial configuration.

In Turlough Neary and Matthew Cook: Proceedings Machines, Computations and Universality 2013 (MCU 2013), Zürich, Switzerland, 9/09/2013 - 11/09/2013, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 128, pp. 167–189.
Published: 4th September 2013.

ArXived at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4204/EPTCS.128.21 bibtex PDF
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