Abstract

This is a contribution to the formalization of the concept of agents in multivariate Markov chains. Agents are commonly defined as entities that act, perceive, and are goal-directed. In a multivariate Markov chain (e.g. a cellular automaton) the transition matrix completely determines the dynamics. This seems to contradict the possibility of acting entities within such a system. Here we present definitions of actions and perceptions within multivariate Markov chains based on entitysets. Entity-sets represent a largely independent choice of a set of spatiotemporal patterns that are considered as all the entities within the Markov chain. For example, the entityset can be chosen according to operational closure conditions or complete specific integration. Importantly, the perceptionaction loop also induces an entity-set and is a multivariate Markov chain. We then show that our definition of actions leads to non-heteronomy and that of perceptions specialize to the usual concept of perception in the perception-action loop.

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