Complex Systems

On the Dynamic Qualitative Behavior of Universal ComputationDownload PDF

Hector Zenil
Department of Computer Science/Kroto Research Institute
The University of Sheffield
Regent Court, 211 Portobello, S1 4DP, UK


The possible connections between the dynamic behavior of a system and Turing universality in terms of the ability of the system to (effectively) transmit and manipulate information are explored. Some arguments will be provided using a defined compression-based transition coefficient, which quantifies the sensitivity of a system to being programmed. In the same spirit, a list of conjectures concerning the ability of busy beaver Turing machines to perform universal computation will be formulated. The main working hypothesis is that universality is deeply connected to the qualitative behavior of a system, particularly to its ability to react to external stimulus—as it needs to be programmed—and to its capacity for transmitting this information.