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Are cellular automata outcomes mathematically predictable?

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  • Are cellular automata outcomes mathematically predictable?


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Answer #1 | 08/02 2014 09:56
It depends on the rules governing the system. Conway's Game of Life is completely deterministic - given the starting pattern you can say precisely what the pattern will be at any point in the future. Other rules may be less predictable - for example a common variation is to allow a cell to "reproduce" in certain conditions but which neighbouring cell is filled is decided at random. Those become increasingly chaotic to the point you have no idea at all of the outcome after only a few iterations.
Answer #2 | 08/02 2014 10:58
Even if you are using randomness, as long as you start with the same seed, you can exactly predict the outcome. A standard computer can't generate truly random numbers, so in general, yes.

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