Computational Mechanics: Natural Computation and Self-organization

  • James P. Crutchfield
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5715)


The tutorial explores how nature’s structure reflects how nature computes. It reviews intrinsic unpredictability (deterministic chaos) and the emergence of structure (self-organization) in natural complex systems. Using statistical mechanics, information theory, and computation theory, it develops a systematic framework for analyzing processes in terms of their causal architecture. This is determined by answering three questions: (i) How much historical information does a process store? (ii) In what architecture is that information stored? And (iii) how is the stored information used to produce future behavior? The answers to these questions tell one how a system intrinsically computes.


Statistical Mechanic Historical Information Future Behavior Computational Mechanic Systematic Framework 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • James P. Crutchfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Complexity Sciences Center Physics DepartmentUniversity of California at DavisDavisUSA

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