Pablo Arrighi, Gilles Dowek

We extend the theory of Cellular Automata to arbitrary, time-varying graphs. In other words we formalize, and prove theorems about, the intuitive idea of a labelled graph which evolves in time - but under the natural constraint that information can only ever be transmitted at a bounded speed, with respect to the distance given by the graph. The notion of translation-invariance is also generalized. The definition we provide for these "causal graph dynamics" is simple and axiomatic. The theorems we provide also show that it is robust. For instance, causal graph dynamics are stable under composition and under restriction to radius one. In the finite case some fundamental facts of Cellular Automata theory carry through: causal graph dynamics admit a characterization as continuous functions, and they are stable under inversion. The provided examples suggest a wide range of applications of this mathematical object, from complex systems science to theoretical physics. KEYWORDS: Dynamical networks, Boolean networks, Generative networks automata, Cayley cellular automata, Graph Automata, Graph rewriting automata, Parallel graph transformations, Amalgamated graph transformations, Time-varying graphs, Regge calculus, Local, No-signalling.

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