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Not sure about books entirely about cellular automata, but Stephen Wolfram's "a new kind of science" has a LOT on cellular automata.

Also check out his papers if you're interested in them




I'd strongly suggest not reading ANKOS until you already know what Cellular Automata are and how they work.

First because Wolfram is not actually very good at explaining things: he's a very smart guy, but very smart guys don't necessarily know how to lay new concepts out so that other people can grasp them. Second, a MAJOR problem with the book is that he does not admit any sources outside himself: the inventor of CA, John von Neumann, is _never mentioned in the main text_.

You come away understanding only what Wolfram thinks is important, which has a lot more to do with him than with the subject. It's a book worth reading, but it's not an introduction.

(I won't even get into his tortured writing style, for which he actually had to include a little apologia in the introduction.)


I feel the need to voice some moderation in response to this response.

ANKOS is sometimes painful to read for Wolfram's incessant self-aggrandising, and it is also frustratingly unstructured in parts. Nonetheless, many of the digressions are thought provoking in ways that you won't really find in any other book. Further, it is mostly non-technical and informal, so it can serve well as a very broad introduction to some of the curious corners of cellular automata research.


>it can serve well as a very broad introduction to some of the curious corners of cellular automata research.

This is true. It's a substantial book, well worth reading despite its flaws. The thrust of my post was that it should not be the _first_ thing you read in order to begin learning about CA.


Forget reading, the first thing you should do is write your own version of "the game of life", which I did as part of my CS class in 8th grade. Just be careful, youtube might suggest you do it in APL, don't do it in APL.


I personally feel that Wolfram is excellent at explaining things, it's his self-aggrandizing after some number of pages that gets irritating. Luckily, he often gets to the gist before that.


Think critically when reading this book, it contains a lot of fluff and self aggrandizing. It was self published, and the author(s) claimed it would be a "paradigm shift" in science, with very little impact after a decade+. [0]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_New_Kind_of_Science#Receptio...


+1 for ANKOS




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