PROPERTIES OF SELF-REPLICATING CELLULAR AUTOMATA SYSTEMS DISCOVERED USING GENETIC PROGRAMMING
We recently formulated an approach to representing structures in cellular automata (CA) spaces, and the rules that govern cell state changes, that is amenable to manipulation by genetic programming (GP). Using this approach, it is possible to efficiently generate self-replicating configurations for fairly arbitrary initial structures. Here, we investigate the properties of self-replicating systems produced using GP in this fashion as the initial configuration's size, shape, symmetry, allowable states, and other factors are systematically varied. We find that the number of GP generations, computation time, and number of resulting rules required by an arbitrary structure to self-replicate are positively and jointly correlated with the number of components, configuration shape, and allowable states in the initial configuration, but inversely correlated with the presence of repeated components, repeated sub-structures, and/or symmetric sub-structures. We conclude that GP can be used as a "replicator factory" to produce a wide range of self-replicating CA configurations, and that the properties of the resulting replicators can be predicted in part a priori. The rules controlling self-replication that are created by GP generally differ from those created manually in past CA studies.
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