JohnnyVon: Self-Replicating Automata in Continuous Two-Dimensional Space

Smith, Arnold and Turney, Peter and Ewaschuk, Robert (2002) JohnnyVon: Self-Replicating Automata in Continuous Two-Dimensional Space. [Departmental Technical Report] (Unpublished)


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JohnnyVon is an implementation of self-replicating automata in continuous two-dimensional space. Two types of particles drift about in a virtual liquid. The particles are automata with discrete internal states but continuous external relationships. Their internal states are governed by finite state machines but their external relationships are governed by a simulated physics that includes brownian motion, viscosity, and spring-like attractive and repulsive forces. The particles can be assembled into patterns that can encode arbitrary strings of bits. We demonstrate that, if an arbitrary “seed” pattern is put in a “soup” of separate individual particles, the pattern will replicate by assembling the individual particles into copies of itself. We also show that, given sufficient time, a soup of separate individual particles will eventually spontaneously form self-replicating patterns. We discuss the implications of JohnnyVon for research in nanotechnology, theoretical biology, and artificial life.

Item Type:Departmental Technical Report
Keywords:self-replication, mobile automata, virtual physics, continuous space automata
Subjects:Computer Science > Dynamical Systems
Biology > Evolution
Biology > Theoretical Biology
ID Code:2440
Deposited By: Turney, Peter
Deposited On:31 Aug 2002
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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