Copyright © 2011 Pabitra Pal Choudhury et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Dynamics of a nonlinear cellular automaton (CA) is, in general asymmetric, irregular, and unpredictable as opposed to that of a linear CA, which is highly systematic and tractable, primarily due to the presence of a matrix handle. In this paper, we present a novel technique of studying the properties of the State Transition Diagram of a nonlinear uniform one-dimensional cellular automaton in terms of its deviation from a suggested linear model. We have considered mainly elementary cellular automata with neighborhood of size three, and, in order to facilitate our analysis, we have classified the Boolean functions of three variables on the basis of number and position(s) of bit mismatch with linear rules. The concept of deviant and nondeviant states is introduced, and hence an algorithm is proposed for deducing the State Transition Diagram of a nonlinear CA rule from that of its nearest linear rule. A parameter called the proportion of deviant states is introduced, and its dependence on the length of the CA is studied for a particular class of nonlinear rules.