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Computational Mechanics: Pattern and Prediction, Structure and Simplicity


  • Cosma Rohilla Shalizi
  • James P. Crutchfield


Computational mechanics, an approach to structural complexity, defines a process's causal states and gives a procedure for finding them. We show that the causal-state representation--an e-machine--is the minimal one consistent with accurate prediction. We establish several results on e-machine optimality and uniqueness and on how e-machines compare to alternative representations. Further results relate measures of randomness and structural complexity obtained from e-machines to those from ergodic and information theories.

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  • Cosma Rohilla Shalizi & James P. Crutchfield, 1999. "Computational Mechanics: Pattern and Prediction, Structure and Simplicity," Working Papers 99-07-044, Santa Fe Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:99-07-044

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    Cited by:

    1. Cosma Rohilla Shalizi & James P. Crutchfield, 2000. "Pattern Discovery and Computational Mechanics," Working Papers 00-01-008, Santa Fe Institute.

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    Complexity; computation; entropy; information; pattern; statistical mechanics;

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