An information-based classification of Elementary Cellular Automata

Enrico Borriello, Sara Imari Walker

A novel, information-based classification of elementary cellular automata is proposed that circumvents the problems associated with isolating whether complexity is in fact intrinsic to a dynamical rule, or if it arises merely as a product of a complex initial state. Transfer entropy variations processed by the system split the 256 elementary rules into three information classes, based on sensitivity to initial conditions. These classes form a hierarchy such that coarse-graining transitions observed among elementary cellular automata rules predominately occur within each information- based class, or much more rarely, down the hierarchy.

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