Heredity, complexity, and surprise: embedded self-replication and evolution in CA

Chris Salzberg, Hiroki Sayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews the history of embedded, evolvable self-replicating structures implemented as cellular automata systems. We relate recent advances in this field to the concept of the evolutionary growth of complexity, a term introduced by McMullin to describe the central idea contained in von Neumann's self-reproducing automata theory. We show that conditions for such growth are in principle satisfied by universal constructors, yet that in practice much simpler replicators may satisfy scaled-down - yet equally relevant - versions thereof. Examples of such evolvable self-replicators are described and discussed, and future challenges identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-171
Number of pages11
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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