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Applications of Propositional Logic to Cellular Automata

Applications of Propositional Logic to Cellular Automata

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Published by: stefanodot on Jan 15, 2010
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Some Applications of Propositional Logic toCellular Automata
S. Cavagnetto
In this paper we give a new proof of Richardson’s theorem [31]: a global function 
of a cellular automaton 
is injective if and only if the inverse of 
is a global function of a cellular automaton. More-over, we show a way how to construct the inverse cellular automaton using the method of feasible interpolation from [20]. We also solvetwo problems regarding complexity of cellular automata formulated by Durand [12].
1 Introduction
Cellular automata are dynamical systems that have been extensively studiedas discrete models for natural systems. They can be described as large collec-tions of simple objects locally interacting with each other. A
-dimensionalcellular automaton consists of an infinite
-dimensional array of identicalcells. Each cell is always in one state from a finite state set. The cells changetheir states synchronously in discrete time steps according to a local rule.The rule gives the new state of each cell as a function of the old states of some finitely many nearby cells, its neighbours. The automaton is homoge-neous so that all its cells operate under the same local rule. The states of thecells in the array are described by a configuration. A configuration can beconsidered as the state of the whole array. The local rule of the automatoninduces a global function that tells how each configuration is changed in one
Supported by Grants #A1019401, AVOZ10190503, Institute of Mathematics,Academy of Sciences of Czech Republic.
time step.
In literature cellular automata take various names according tothe way they are used. They can be employed as computation models [11] ormodels of natural phenomena [35], but also as tessellations structures, itera-tive circuits [6], or iterative arrays [7]. The study of this computation modelwas initiated by von Neumann in the ’40s [25], [26]. He introduced cellularautomata as possible universal computing devices capable of mechanicallyreproducing themselves. Since that time cellular automata have also aquiredsome popularity as models for massively parallel computations.The main reason why cellular automata have been extensively studiedas discrete models for natural system is that they have several basic prop-erties of the physical world: they are massively parallel, homogeneous andall interactions are local. Other physical properties such as reversibility andconservation laws can be programmed by selecting the local rule suitably.The main point is that cellular automata provide very simple models of com-plex natural systems encountered in physics and biology. As natural systemsthey consists of large numbers of very simple basic components that togetherproduce the complex behaviour of the system. Then, in some sense, it isnot surprising that several physical systems (spin systems, crystal growthprocess, lattice gasses, ...) have been modelled using these devices, see [35].Probably the most popular of these automata is
Game of Life
),created by Conway in 1970, [2]. This cellular automaton operates on an infi-nite two-dimensional grid. Each cell is in one of two possible states, alive ordead, and interacts with its neighbours, which are the cells that are directlyhorizontally, vertically and diagonally adjacent. The eight neighbours formthe so called Moore neighborhood [23] (see Figure 1 where two other neigh-borhoods widely used in literature are considered: the von Neumann [27]and the Smith neighborhood [33]). At every time step, each cell can changeits state in a parallel and synchronous way according to the following localrules: (1) A cell that is dead at time
becomes alive at time
+ 1 if andonly if three of its neighbours were alive at time
; (2) A cell that was aliveat time
will remain alive if and only if it had just two or three neighboursalive at time
; (3) A cell that is alive at time
and has four or more of itseight neighbours alive at
will be dead by time
+1; (4) A cell that has onlyone alive neighbour, or none at all, at time
, will be dead at time
+ 1.
For surveys on cellular automata the interested reader can see [16], [17].
As a game it can be seen as a zero-player game, i.e. a game whose evolution isdetermined by its initial state, needing no input from players.
Figure 1: The Moore neighborhood of the cell
, the von Neumann neigh-borhood of the cell
and the Smith neighborhood of the cell
.In this paper we show how the study of propositional proof complexityand some of its techniques can be exploited in order to investigate cellularautomata and their properties. The paper is organized as follows. First (Sec-tion 2) we recall a basic result from mathematical logic, Craig’s interpolationtheorem, and we introduce the concept of feasible interpolation that playsan important role in many results of proof complexity. Second, in Section3 we present a formal definition of cellular automaton. In the same sectionwe recall some of the most important results regarding cellular automata. InSection 4 we give a new proof of Richardson’s theorem [31] using compactnessof propositional logic and Craig’s interpolation theorem. In the same sectionwe show how to apply feasible interpolation to find description of inverse cel-lular automata. In Section 5 we solve two open problems formulated in [12].The first can be stated as follows: consider finite bounded configurations anda reversible cellular automaton that is given by a “simple” algorithm. Is theinverse automaton given by a “simple” algorithm too? The second problemis the following: the injectivity problem of cellular automata on bounded sizeis
-complete, [12]; does the result still hold if we consider instead of thesize of the transition table, the smallest program (circuit) which computes3

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