Are mathematical formulas the most effective technique to simulate nature? It has long been believed that they were. But Stephen Wolfram made the revolutionary suggestion that one should instead create models that are based directly on straightforward computer programs in the early 1980s.

Wolfram conducted a thorough analysis of a subset of these models known as cellular automata and found an astonishing fact: even when the fundamental principles are fairly straightforward, the behavior they produce can be extremely complicated and can closely resemble many aspects of the natural world.

Wolfram then started a research program to create what he called "A Science of Complexity" in response to this finding. The outcomes of Wolfram's research found numerous uses, from the so-called Wolfram Classification important to areas like artificial life to fresh perspectives on encryption and fluid dynamics.

This book looks to be of interest to physicists and chemists trying to understand the fundamental principles of complex systems as well as computer scientists, particularly those working in parallelization (by cellular computer simulation)

The original papers written by Wolfram on complexity and cellular automata are collected in this volume. Some of these articles are well-known among scientists, while others are brand-new works. The papers collectively offer a highly readable overview of what has emerged as a significant new scientific topic, with significant ramifications for physics, biology, economics, computer science, and many other fields.