The Wolfram Atlas of Simple Programs The Wolfram Atlas of Simple Programs

System Categories Cellular Automata Turing Machines Mobile Automata Substitution Systems Tag Systems Register Machines Symbolic Systems Systems Based on Numbers Network Systems Multiway Systems Systems Based on Constraints Axiom Systems
Be a contributor

Because NKS is such a wide-open field, there are countless opportunities for people from a wide variety of backgrounds to contribute to it. The sheer number of questions to be answered is staggering, and only a substantially sized, highly active community can begin to fill them in.

As more is known, both increasingly specialized and increasingly general kinds of knowledge - as well as new classes of systems - will be added to the Atlas. But what is needed first and foremost is a comprehensive database of results of even the simplest and most obvious questions about the systems we already know are interesting.

Everything from the big, such as proving a system is universal, to the little, such as determining a closed-form formula for the behavior of relatively simple system, is valuable and important to the future development of NKS. Likewise, everyone from a physics emeritus to a high school student (and possibly younger!) can potentially make a discovery worthy of record in the Atlas.

A good way to start is to simply browse the Atlas, letting your clicking follow your instincts: if you see something that strikes you as unusual, different, or interesting, just click on the picture to see information that is closely related to it - either similar pictures for a variety of different rules, or different pictures for the same rule.

An alternative approach is to look at the list of Open Problems. Not all Open Problems have answers that belong in the Atlas, but a number of them do. And simply reading this list may lead to a sudden spark when seeing a particular behavior while browsing the Atlas.

The contribution process is currently under development, so we are not yet directly soliciting contributions from the general public. We are however looking for alpha-contributors to spearhead the contribution effort, and give feedback about the ideas we develop. If you are interesting in being an alpha-contributor, please contact the Atlas staff at

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