Martin DAVIS

Computational Mechanics: Natural Computation and Self-Organization

Abstract. The tutorial explores how nature's structure reflects how nature computes. It reviews intrinsic unpredictability (deterministic chaos) and the emergence of structure (self-organization) in natural complex systems. Using statistical mechanics, information theory, and computation theory, it develops a systematic framework for analyzing processes in terms of their causal architecture. This is determined by answering three questions: (i) How much historical information does a process store? (ii) How is that information stored? And (iii) how is the stored information used to produce future behavior? The answers to these questions tell one how a system intrinsically computes.

Presentation slides


For the tutorial, here are the articles, going from less to more technical (that is, the recommended reading order):