The Conceptual Origin of Cellular Automata

  • Xuewei Li
  • Jinpei Wu
  • Xueyan Li


Since ancient Greece, simplicity has always been a beacon for scientists to the truth. Aristotle said in his book of “metaphysics” that: “an academic theory with less principles is more accurate than those alike with more complimentary principles”. Later, some scientific pioneers inherited and developed the thought of Aristotle. For example, British philosopher William Occam proposed the famous “Occam razor”, that was: “entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.” His logic was that we should shave off unmercifully those that are redundant and useless.” In modern times, Newton (Newton) unified the complex principles of universe and earth movements with simple Three Laws of Motion and the Law of Universal Gravitation. He put forward in “the mathematical principle of natural philosophy” that: “Nature does nothing in vain, and more is in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity, and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes”. In the era of relativity, Albert Einstein liked simplicity more in thinking.


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Copyright information

© Beijing Jiaotong University Press and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Union UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Wuyi UniversityJiangmenChina
  3. 3.Beijing Jiaotong universityBeijingChina

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