PUMA
Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Bolognesi T. Causal sets from simple models of computation. Technical report, 2010.
 
 
Abstract
(English)
Causality among events is widely recognized as a most fundamental structure of spacetime, and causal sets have been proposed as discrete models of the latter in the context of quantum gravity theories, notably in the Causal Set Programme. In the rather different context of what might be called the 'Computational Universe Programme' -- one which associates the complexity of physical phenomena to the emergent features of models such as cellular automata -- a choice problem arises with respect to the variety of formal systems that, in virtue of their computational universality (Turing-completeness), qualify as equally good candidates for a computational, unified theory of physics. This paper proposes Causal Sets as the only objects of physical significance and relevance to be considered under the 'computational universe' perspective, and as the appropriate abstraction for shielding the unessential details of the many different computationally universal candidate models. At the same time, we propose a fully deterministic, radical alternative to the probabilistic techniques currently considered in the Causal Set Programme for growing discrete spacetimes. We investigate a number of computation models by grouping them into two broad classes, based on the support on which they operate; in one case this is linear, like a tape or a string of symbols; in the other, it is a two-dimensional grid or a planar graph. For each model we identify the causality relation among computation events, implement it, and conduct a possibly exhaustive exploration of the associated causal set space, while examining quantitative and qualitative features such as dimensionality, curvature, planarity, emergence of pseudo-randomness, causal set substructures and particles.
Subject Causal sets
Spacetime
Cellular automata
Turing machines
F.1.1 Models of Computation


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