April 05, 2008

Trent Reznor Prize, RNR division

The Trent Reznor Prize for Tricky Embedding (Right-Node Raising division) goes to Andrew Ilachinsky, author of "Exploring self-organized emergence in an agent-based synthetic warfare lab", Kybernetes, 32(1/2): 38-76, 2003:

4.84 Universal grammar of combat. Finally, what lies at the heart of an artificial-life approach to simulating combat, is the hope of discovering a fundamental relationship between the set of higher-level emergent processes (penetration, flanking maneuvers, containment, etc.) and the set of low-level primitive actions (movement, communication, firing at an enemy, etc.).

Wolfram (1994) has conjectured that the macro-level emergent behavior of all cellular automata rules falls into one of only four universality classes, despite the huge number of possible local rules. While EINSTein's rules are obviously more complicated than those of their elementary cellular automata brethren, it is nonetheless tempting to speculate about whether there exists — and, if so, what the properties are, of — a universal grammar of combat (emphasis added)

Posted by Mark Liberman at April 5, 2008 07:38 AM