DMTCS Proceedings, Automata 2010 - 16th Intl. Workshop on CA and DCS

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Faster Methods for Identifying Nontrivial Energy Conservation Functions for Cellular Automata

Leemon Baird, Barry Fagin


The biggest obstacle to the efficient discovery of conserved energy functions for cellular auotmata is the elimination of the trivial functions from the solution space. Once this is accomplished, the identification of nontrivial conserved functions can be accomplished computationally through appropriate linear algebra. As a means to this end, we introduce a general theory of trivial conserved functions. We consider the existence of nontrivial additive conserved energy functions ("nontrivials") for cellular automata in any number of dimensions, with any size of neighborhood, and with any number of cell states. We give the first known basis set for all trivial conserved functions in the general case, and use this to derive a number of optimizations for reducing time and memory for the discovery of nontrivials. We report that the Game of Life has no nontrivials with energy windows of size 13 or smaller. Other 2D automata, however, do have nontrivials. We give the complete list of those functions for binary outer-totalistic automata with energy windows of size 9 or smaller, and discuss patterns we have observed.

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