Complex Systems

Using Elementary Cellular Automata to Model Different Research Strategies and the Generation of New Knowledge Download PDF

Georg Jäger
Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research
University of Graz, Merangasse 18, 8010 Graz, Austria


In this study, elementary cellular automata (CAs) are used to model the process of generating new knowledge. Each research goal is formulated as a target state of an elementary cellular automaton, while the scientific method used to reach this goal is represented as a rule. This system has many similarities to the actual process of knowledge generation, mainly caused by the possible complex behavior of CAs. The proposed model is then used to compare different strategies of scientific research like inter- and intradisciplinary cooperation in different scenarios. The obtained results are in agreement with reality and therefore substantiate the assumption that CAs are suitable to model the process of scientific research.

Keywords: knowledge generation; modeling complex systems; interdisciplinary cooperation; elementary cellular automata