The Computational Mechanics Resources Page


Computational Mechanics is a technique to describe both temporal and spacial organization in systems. It complements and augments more traditional techniques in statistical physics by describing the structural regularies inherent in the system or data. In this way, computational mechanics goes beyond the a mere declaration of `order' or `randomness' and details how the order or randomness is manifest in the system. More specifically, computational mechanics seeks to construct the minimal model (called an ε-machine or causal state machine) capable of statistically reproducing the observed data. This approach leads one naturally to address the issue of the information processing capability of the system.

E-Machine
The reconstructed r = 3 epsilon machine for an experimental zinc sulpide disordered crystal. The strong self-loop transition probabilities between causal states S_0 and S_7, as well as their large asymptotic state probabilities, suggest that the ... 0000 ... and ... 1111 ... structures are important. The absence of the transition between CSs xxx and xxx implies that the 0011 sequence, and therefore the CSC associated with the 6H structure, is not present.

There is an ever burgeoning literature on computational mechanics -- both in terms of theoretical developments as well as applications to systems. Jim Crutchfield maintains a rather exhaustive page on computational mechanics called the Computational Mechanics Archive, and almost all papers of interest are listed there. My goal here is not to repeat that list, but rather to give a few select sources that I believe serve as an introduction to the field. I also give references to a few other sources that discuss concepts in complexity.

Tutorials & Introductory Materials:

More Advanced Materials:

Inference Algorithms:

Applications to Physical Systems:

Computational Mechanics in Higher Dimensions:

Other Useful Sources:




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Last updated: 01 September 2010. Copyright © 2008-2010 by Dowman P. Varn. Contact: dpv@ComplexMatter.org

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