cellular automata
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Pronunciation: \ˈsel-yə-lər\ \-mə-tə, -mə-ˌtä\
Etymology: cellular (New Latin cellularis, from cellula living cell, from Latin, diminutive of cella small room) + automata (Latin, from Greek, neuter of automatos)
Function: noun

1: discrete models studied in computability theory, mathematics, and theoretical biology. They consist of a regular grid of cells, each in one of a finite number of states. The grid can be in any finite number of dimensions. Time is also discrete, and the state of a cell at time t is a function of the states of a finite number of cells (called its neighborhood) at time t − 1. These neighbors are a selection of cells relative to the specified cell, and do not change (though the cell itself may be in its neighborhood, it is not usually considered a neighbor). Every cell has the same rule for updating, based on the values in this neighbourhood. Each time the rules are applied to the whole grid a new generation is created. These models are used so as to simulate the city development and expansion and finally provide us with information on how cities evolve. In these processes the cells represent the physical and spatial structure of the city.[1] [2] [3]

1. “Cities and complexity: understanding cities with cellular automata, agent-based models, and fractals.” Michael Batty (2005)
3. Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary

(Vagia Pantou 10.12.2007)
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