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  1. #1
    bjorke's Avatar
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    Computing with Analog Photosensitive Materials

    Turning the tables:

    abstract from The International Journal of Unconventional Computing:

    Information Processing by Chemical Reaction-Diffusion Media: From Computing to Vision

    N.G. RAMBIDI, S.G. ULYAKHIN, D.E. SHISHLOV, V.A. NEGANOV and A.S.TSVETKOV

    Chemical reaction-diffusion media represent information processing means fundamentally different from contemporary digital computers. Distributed character and complex nonlinear dynamics of chemical reactions inherent in the medium is the basis for large-scale parallelism and complex logical operations performed by the medium as primitives and equivalent to hundreds of binary fixed-point operations. Photosensitive catalysts controlling dynamics (modes of functioning) of the medium enable to easily perform input of initial data and output of computational results. It was found during the last decades that chemical reaction-diffusion media can be effectively used for solving artificial intelligence problems,such as image processing,finding the shortest paths in a labyrinth and some other important problems that are at the same time problems of high computational complexity. Spatially non uniform control of the medium by physical stimuli and fabrication of multi level reaction-diffusion systems seem to be the promising way enabling low cost and effective information processing devices that meet the commercial needs. Biological roots and specific neural net architecture of reactiondiffusion media seem to enable simulating some phenomena inherent in the cerebral cortex,such as optical illusions.

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  2. #2
    davido's Avatar
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    Umm. . . what !?!

  3. #3

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    Amusing. It does seem to overlook the biological decoding equipment most widely used, but it is just the abstract...
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  4. #4

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    I find analogue media to be a poor substitute for the clarity and precision I get with digital computing methods. Analogue just has no soul when it comes to number crunching. It just doesn't feel right - it's lacking tradition and authenticity. And I mean getting calculations done quickly kind of bypasses the important experiential aspects; there's a mystique with punching cards and listening to the tape reels whirr (or even working with more modern processors, hearing the cooling fans and watching the glow of the LCD monitor) that simply can't be reproduced with chemical diffusion media. Part of the joy is in the journey, and not just finding the quickest way to the end result.
    Last edited by walter23; 04-09-2007 at 01:29 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    jstraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
    I find analogue media to be a poor substitute for the clarity and precision I get with digital computing methods. Analogue just has no soul when it comes to number crunching. It just doesn't feel right - it's lacking tradition and authenticity. And I mean getting calculations done quickly kind of bypasses the important experiential aspects; there's a mystique with punching cards and listening to the tape reels whirr (or even working with more modern processors, hearing the cooling fans and watching the glow of the LCD monitor) that simply can't be reproduced with chemical diffusion media. Part of the joy is in the journey, and not just finding the quickest way to the end result.

    I just look at the final, mathematical result. I don't get hung up on what kind of gear the mathemetician used to get if. These digital v. analog arguments get so old. Both have their merits for certain purposes and these religious wars serve no purpose.

    Perhaps I'd be happier on the hybridcomputing.org, ACUG's sister site.
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  6. #6
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    DNA computing has been a staple of alternative computing technology lately, but it's fun to see photosensitive materials to be another one.

    Basically, someone at some point realized that chemical states, like electric states, can be harnessed for calculations. The interesting thing about organo-chemico-etc computing is that it seems to be very efficient for large-scale parallel computations. I'm not sure whether there has been practical implementations of these principles (i.e. a lab basing its results on a DNA computer, etc).
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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