Archive for April, 2010

On the Algorithmic Nature of the World

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

In a new paper I’ve coauthored with Jean-Paul Delahaye, we propose a test based on the theory of algorithmic complexity and an experimental evaluation of Levin’s universal distribution to identify evidence in support of or in contravention of the claim that the world is algorithmic in nature.

To this end we have undertaken a statistical comparison of the frequency distributions of data from physical sources on the one hand–repositories of information such as images, data stored in a hard drive, computer programs and DNA sequences–and the frequency distributions generated by purely algorithmic means on the other–by running abstract computing devices such as Turing machines, cellular automata and Post Tag systems. Statistical correlations were found and their significance measured.

The paper is forthcoming as a book chapter by invitation of Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic, in Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic and Mark Burgin (eds.) Information and Computation by World Scientific, 2010.

The paper is available online on arXiv.

If the subject is of interest to you I invite you to regularly visit our research project main webpage:, where we are publishing results and updates.