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But inevitably functions like FixedPoint , ReplaceRepeated and FullSimplify can run into undecidability—so that ultimately they have to be limited by constructs such as $IterationLimit and TimeConstraint .
For example, if a particular pattern is repeated, then one need not specify the form of this pattern more than once—for the original data can be reproduced just by repeating a copy of the pattern. And in general, the presence of regularities makes it possible to replace literal descriptions of data by shorter descriptions that are based on procedures for reproducing the data.
The repetitive structure of picture (a) implies that to reproduce this picture all we need do is to specify the colors in a 49×2 block, and then say that this block should be repeated an appropriate number of times. Similarly, the nested structure of picture (b) implies that to reproduce this picture, all we need do is to specify the colors in a 3×3 block, and then say that as in a two-dimensional substitution system each black cell should repeatedly be replaced by this block.