A.DIM

2012-Dec-03, 02:28 PM

I came across this paper (http://arxiv.org/pdf/1206.3467.pdf) at arXiv and find it pertinent to various discussions here...

Abstact: The search for extraterrestrial life and intelligence constitutes one of the major endeavors in science, but has yet been quantitatively modeled only rarely and in a cursory and superficial fashion. We argue that probabilistic cellular automata (PCA) represent the best quantitative framework for modeling the astrobiological history of the Milky Way and its Galactic Habitable Zone. The relevant astrobiological parameters are to be modeled as the elements of the input probability matrix for the PCA kernel. With the underlying simplicity of the cellular automata constructs, this approach enables a quick analysis of large and ambiguous space of the input parameters. We perform a simple clustering analysis of typical astrobiological histories with ”Copernican” choice of input parameters and discuss the relevant boundary conditions of practical importance for planning and guiding empirical astrobiological and SETI projects. In addition to showing how the present framework is adaptable to more complex situations and updated observational databases from current and near-future space missions, we demonstrate how numerical results could offer a cautious rationale for continuation of practical SETI searches.

Abstact: The search for extraterrestrial life and intelligence constitutes one of the major endeavors in science, but has yet been quantitatively modeled only rarely and in a cursory and superficial fashion. We argue that probabilistic cellular automata (PCA) represent the best quantitative framework for modeling the astrobiological history of the Milky Way and its Galactic Habitable Zone. The relevant astrobiological parameters are to be modeled as the elements of the input probability matrix for the PCA kernel. With the underlying simplicity of the cellular automata constructs, this approach enables a quick analysis of large and ambiguous space of the input parameters. We perform a simple clustering analysis of typical astrobiological histories with ”Copernican” choice of input parameters and discuss the relevant boundary conditions of practical importance for planning and guiding empirical astrobiological and SETI projects. In addition to showing how the present framework is adaptable to more complex situations and updated observational databases from current and near-future space missions, we demonstrate how numerical results could offer a cautious rationale for continuation of practical SETI searches.