Cellular Automata and the Quest for Nontrivial Artificial Self-Reproduction

  • Markus Holzer
  • Martin Kutrib
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6501)


The quest for artificial self-reproduction dates back to the end of the 1940’s and started with the work of John von Neumann on self-reproducing cellular automata. Nowadays (artificial) self-reproduction is one of the cornerstones of automata theory, which plays an important role in the field of molecular nanotechnology. We briefly summarize the development on the research subject of artificial self-reproduction starting with von Neumann’s ideas. Moreover, we pay special attention to the concepts of trivial and non-trivial self-reproduction by Herman, Langton, and others. Our tour on the subject obviously lacks completeness and it reflects our personal view of what constitute the most interesting links to the important aspects of artificial self-reproduction.


Cellular Automaton Turing Machine Quiescent State Rigid Element Universal Computer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markus Holzer
    • 1
  • Martin Kutrib
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für InformatikUniversität GiessenGiessenGermany

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