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Significance of models of computation, from Turing model to natural computation

Journal article
Authors Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic
Published in Minds and Machines
Volume 21
Issue 2
Pages 301-322
ISSN 0924-6495
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 301-322
Language en
Keywords Hypercomputing , Models of computation , Philosophy of computer science , Philosophy of computing , Philosophy of information , Theory of computation
Subject categories Theory of science, Theoretical philosophy, Information science, Computer science, Theoretical computer science, Computer and Information Science


The increased interactivity and connectivity of computational devices along with the spreading of computational tools and computational thinking across the fields, has changed our understanding of the nature of computing. In the course of this development computing models have been extended from the initial abstract symbol manipulating mechanisms of stand-alone, discrete sequential machines, to the models of natural computing in the physical world, generally concurrent asynchronous processes capable of modelling living systems, their informational structures and dynamics on both symbolic and sub-symbolic information processing levels. Present account of models of computation highlights several topics of importance for the development of new understanding of computing and its role: natural computation and the relationship between the model and physical implementation, interactivity as fundamental for computational modelling of concurrent information processing systems such as living organisms and their networks, and the new developments in logic needed to support this generalized framework. Computing understood as information processing is closely related to natural sciences; it helps us recognize connections between sciences, and provides a unified approach for modeling and simulating of both living and non-living systems. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.

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