"Movable Finite Automata: A New Tool for Computer Modeling of Living Systems" (pp. 317–340)

"Movable Finite Automata: A New Tool for Computer Modeling of Living Systems" (pp. 317–340)

in Artificial Life: The Proceedings of an Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems; Charles G. Langton, editor

 

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Synopsis (excerpt from Preface by Christopher G. Langton):

"The paper by Goel and Thompson describes a tool for modeling molecular self-organization. 'Moveable Finite Automata' models are like cellular automata, with the added feature that the cells can move about and form bonds with each other. The authors have derived rules for the individual automata sufficient to model the self-assembly of phage virus and the elongation cycle in protein biosynthesis. Both models illustrate the importance of 'conformational switching,' in which the formation of one bond may enable bonding at other sites. Processes like conformation switching are fundamental to understanding the manner in which local, distributed processing can lead to specific sequences of action at the global level, and can help explain the manner in which the genotype can control the specific sequential developmental history of the phenotype."