Anahi Gajardo, Jarkko Kari, Andres Moreira:
On time-symmetry in cellular automata
The notion of reversibility has been intensively studied in the field of cellular automata (CA), for several reasons. However, a related notion found in physical theories has been so far neglected, not only in CA, but generally in discrete dynamical systems. This is the notion of time-symmetry, which refers to the inability of distinguishing between backward and forward time directions. Here we formalize it in the context of CA, and study some of its basic properties. We also show how some well-known CA fit into the class of time-symmetric CA, and provide a number of results on the relation between this and other classes of CA. The existence of an intrinsically universal time-symmetric CA within the class of reversible CA is proved. Finally, we show the undecidability of time-symmetry for CA of dimension 2 or higher, even within the class of reversible CA. The case of dimension 1 is one of several open questions discussed in the conclusions.
This preprint gave rise to the following definitive publication(s):
Anahi GAJARDO, Jarkko KARI, Andres MOREIRA: On time-symmetry in cellular automata. Journal of Computer and System Sciences, vol. 78, 4, pp. 1115-1126, (2012).