We present dichotomy theorems regarding the computational complexity of counting fixed points in boolean (discrete) dynamical systems, i.e., finite discrete dynamical systems over the domain {0, 1}. For a class F of boolean functions and a class G of graphs, an (F, G)-system is a boolean dynamical system with local transitions functions lying in F and graphs in G. We show that, if local transition functions are given by lookup tables, then the following complexity classification holds: Let F be a class of boolean functions closed under superposition and let G be a graph class closed under taking minors. If F contains all min-functions, all max-functions, or all self-dual and monotone functions, and G contains all planar graphs, then it is #Pcomplete to compute the number of fixed points in an (F, G)-system; otherwise it is computable in polynomial time. We also prove a dichotomy theorem for the case that local transition functions are given by formulas (over logical bases). This theorem has a significantly more complicated structure than the theorem for lookup tables. A corresponding theorem for boolean circuits coincides with the theorem for formulas.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



This is the post-print of an article published by Elsevier. Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V. The final, published version is located here:

A preliminary version of this paper was presented at the 10th Italian Conference on Theoretical Computer Science, October 2007.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Department, Program, or Center

Computer Science (GCCIS)


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