In order to develop systems capable of modeling artificial life, we need to identify, which systems can produce complex behavior. We present a novel classification method applicable to any class of deterministic discrete space and time dynamical systems. The method distinguishes between different asymptotic behaviors of a system's average computation time before entering a loop. When applied to elementary cellular automata, we obtain classification results, which correlate very well with Wolfram's manual classification. Further, we use it to classify 2D cellular automata to show that our technique can easily be applied to more complex models of computation. We believe this classification method can help to develop systems, in which complex structures emerge.

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