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Some recent developments on Shannon’s general purpose analog computer
 Mathematical Logic Quarterly
"... This paper revisits one of the first models of analog computation, the General Purpose Analog Computer (GPAC). In particular, we restrict our attention to the improved model presented in [11] and we show that it can be further refined. With this we prove the following: (i) the previous model can be ..."
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This paper revisits one of the first models of analog computation, the General Purpose Analog Computer (GPAC). In particular, we restrict our attention to the improved model presented in [11] and we show that it can be further refined. With this we prove the following: (i) the previous model can be simplified; (ii) it admits extensions having close connections with the class of smooth continuous time dynamical systems. As a consequence, we conclude that some of these extensions achieve Turing universality. Finally, it is shown that if we introduce a new notion of computability for the GPAC, based on ideas from computable analysis, then one can compute transcendentally transcendental functions such as the Gamma function or Riemann’s Zeta function. 1
A theory of complexity for continuous time systems
 Journal of Complexity
, 2002
"... We present a model of computation with ordinary differential equations (ODEs) which converge to attractors that are interpreted as the output of a computation. We introduce a measure of complexity for exponentially convergent ODEs, enabling an algorithmic analysis of continuous time flows and their ..."
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We present a model of computation with ordinary differential equations (ODEs) which converge to attractors that are interpreted as the output of a computation. We introduce a measure of complexity for exponentially convergent ODEs, enabling an algorithmic analysis of continuous time flows and their comparison with discrete algorithms. We define polynomial and logarithmic continuous time complexity classes and show that an ODE which solves the maximum network flow problem has polynomial time complexity. We also analyze a simple flow that solves the Maximum problem in logarithmic time. We conjecture that a subclass of the continuous P is equivalent to the classical P. 2001 Elsevier Science (USA) Key Words: theory of analog computation; dynamical systems.
Natural computation and nonTuring models of computation
 Theoretical Computer Science
, 2004
"... We propose certain nonTuring models of computation, but our intent is not to advocate models that surpass the power of Turing Machines (TMs), but to defend the need for models with orthogonal notions of power. We review the nature of models and argue that they are relative to a domain of applicatio ..."
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Cited by 18 (9 self)
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We propose certain nonTuring models of computation, but our intent is not to advocate models that surpass the power of Turing Machines (TMs), but to defend the need for models with orthogonal notions of power. We review the nature of models and argue that they are relative to a domain of application and are illsuited to use outside that domain. Hence we review the presuppositions and context of the TM model and show that it is unsuited to natural computation (computation occurring in or inspired by nature). Therefore we must consider an expanded definition of computation that includes alternative (especially analog) models as well as the TM. Finally we present an alternative model, of continuous computation, more suited to natural computation. We conclude with remarks on the expressivity of formal mathematics. Key words: analog computation, analog computer, biocomputation, computability, computation on reals, continuous computation, formal system, hypercomputation,
Computational complexity with experiments as oracles
, 2008
"... We discuss combining physical experiments with machine computations and introduce a form of analoguedigital Turing machine. We examine in detail a case study where an experimental procedure based on Newtonian kinematics is combined with a class of Turing machines. Three forms of analoguedigital ma ..."
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We discuss combining physical experiments with machine computations and introduce a form of analoguedigital Turing machine. We examine in detail a case study where an experimental procedure based on Newtonian kinematics is combined with a class of Turing machines. Three forms of analoguedigital machine are studied, in which physical parameters can be set exactly and approximately. Using nonuniform complexity theory, and some probability, we prove theorems that show that these machines can compute more than classical Turing machines. 1
Computations via experiments with kinematic systems
, 2004
"... Consider the idea of computing functions using experiments with kinematic systems. We prove that for any set A of natural numbers there exists a 2dimensional kinematic system BA with a single particle P whose observable behaviour decides n ∈ A for all n ∈ N. The system is a bagatelle and can be des ..."
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Consider the idea of computing functions using experiments with kinematic systems. We prove that for any set A of natural numbers there exists a 2dimensional kinematic system BA with a single particle P whose observable behaviour decides n ∈ A for all n ∈ N. The system is a bagatelle and can be designed to operate under (a) Newtonian mechanics or (b) Relativistic mechanics. The theorem proves that valid models of mechanical systems can compute all possible functions on discrete data. The proofs show how any information (coded by some A) can be embedded in the structure of a simple kinematic system and retrieved by simple observations of its behaviour. We reflect on this undesirable situation and argue that mechanics must be extended to include a formal theory for performing experiments, which includes the construction of systems. We conjecture that in such an extended mechanics the functions computed by experiments are precisely those computed by algorithms. We set these theorems and ideas in the context of the literature on the general problem “Is physical behaviour computable? ” and state some open problems.
Grounding Analog Computers
 Think
, 1993
"... Although analog computation was eclipsed by digital computation in the second half of the twentieth century, it is returning as an important alternative computing technology. Indeed, as explained in this report, theoretical results imply that analog computation can escape from the limitations of dig ..."
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Although analog computation was eclipsed by digital computation in the second half of the twentieth century, it is returning as an important alternative computing technology. Indeed, as explained in this report, theoretical results imply that analog computation can escape from the limitations of digital computation. Furthermore, analog computation has emerged as an important theoretical framework for discussing computation in the brain and other natural systems. The report (1) summarizes the fundamentals of analog computing, starting with the continuous state space and the various processes by which analog computation can be organized in time; (2) discusses analog computation in nature, which provides models and inspiration for many contemporary uses of analog computation, such as neural networks; (3) considers generalpurpose analog computing, both from a theoretical perspective and in terms of practical generalpurpose analog computers; (4) discusses the theoretical power of
Can Newtonian systems, bounded in space, time, mass and energy compute all functions?
"... In the theoretical analysis of the physical basis of computation there is a great deal of confusion and controversy (e.g., on the existence of hypercomputers). First, we present a methodology for making a theoretical analysis of computation by physical systems. We focus on the construction and anal ..."
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In the theoretical analysis of the physical basis of computation there is a great deal of confusion and controversy (e.g., on the existence of hypercomputers). First, we present a methodology for making a theoretical analysis of computation by physical systems. We focus on the construction and analysis of simple examples that are models of simple subtheories of physical theories. Then we illustrate the methodology, by presenting a simple example for Newtonian Kinematics, and a critique that leads to a substantial extension of the methodology. The example proves that for any set A of natural numbers there exists a 3dimensional Newtonian kinematic system MA, with an infinite family of particles Pn whose total mass is bounded, and whose observable behaviour can decide whether or not n ∈ A for all n ∈ N in constant time. In particular, the example implies that simple Newtonian kinematic systems that are bounded in space, time, mass and energy can compute all possible sets and functions on discrete data. The system is a form of marble run and is a model of a small fragment of Newtonian Kinematics. Next, we use the example to extend the methodology. The marble run shows that a formal theory for computation by physical systems needs strong conditions on the notion of experimental procedure and, specifically, on methods for the construction of equipment. We propose to extend the methodology by defining languages to express experimental procedures and the construction of equipment. We conjecture that the functions computed by experimental computation in Newtonian Kinematics are “equivalent” to those computed by algorithms, i.e. the partial computable functions.
Transcending Turing Computability
 Minds and Machines
, 2001
"... It has been argued that neural networks and other forms of analog computation may transcend the limits of Turing computation; proofs have been oered on both sides, subject to diering assumptions. In this report I argue that the important comparisons between the two models of computation are not so m ..."
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It has been argued that neural networks and other forms of analog computation may transcend the limits of Turing computation; proofs have been oered on both sides, subject to diering assumptions. In this report I argue that the important comparisons between the two models of computation are not so much mathematical as epistemological. The Turing machine model makes assumptions about information representation and processing that are badly matched to the realities of natural computation (information representation and processing in or inspired by natural systems). This points to the need for new models of computation addressing issues orthogonal to those that have occupied the traditional theory of computation. Keywords: computability, Turing machine, hypercomputation, natural computation, biocomputation, analog computer, analog computation, continuous computation 1.
An analog characterization of elementarily computable functions over the real numbers
 31st Int. Col. on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP ’04
, 2004
"... Abstract We present an analog and machineindependent algebraic characterization of elementarily computable functions over the real numbers in the sense of recursive analysis: we prove that they correspond to the smallest class of functions that contains some basic functions, and closed by composit ..."
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Abstract We present an analog and machineindependent algebraic characterization of elementarily computable functions over the real numbers in the sense of recursive analysis: we prove that they correspond to the smallest class of functions that contains some basic functions, and closed by composition, linear integration, and a simple limit schema. We generalize this result to all higher levels of the Grzegorczyk Hierarchy. Concerning recursive analysis, our results provide machineindependent characterizations of natural classes of computable functions over the real numbers, allowing to dene these classes without usual considerations on higherorder (type 2) Turing machines. Concerning analog models, our results provide a characterization of the power of a natural class of analog models over the real numbers. 1