Cellular automata as models of complexity
Natural systems from snowflakes to mollusc shells show a great diversity of complex patterns. The origins of such complexity can be investigated through mathematical models termed ‘cellular automata’. Cellular automata consist of many identical components, each simple., but together capable of complex behaviour. They are analysed both as discrete dynamical systems, and as information-processing systems. Here some of their universal features are discussed, and some general principles are suggested.