Chapter 3: The World of Simple Programs

Section 2: More Cellular Automata

[History of] numbering scheme

I introduced the numbering scheme used here in the 1983 paper where I first discussed one-dimensional cellular automata (see page 881). I termed two-color nearest-neighbor cellular automata "elementary" to reflect the idea that their rules are as simple as possible.

From Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science [citation]