Understanding Computation

From Simple Machines to Impossible Programs

Understanding Computation

This book is for programmers who are curious about programming languages and the theory of computation, especially those who don't have a formal background in mathematics or computer science. It's for those who are interested in the mind-expanding parts of computer science that deal with programs, languages, and machines, but are discouraged by the mathematical language that's often used to explain them. Instead of complex notation, the book uses working code to illustrate theoretical ideas and turn them into interactive experiments that readers can explore at their own pace.

A Computable Universe

Understanding and Exploring Nature as Computation

A Computable Universe

This volume, with a Foreword writer Sir Roger Penrose, discusses the foundations of computation in relation to nature. It focuses on two main questions: What is computation?How does nature compute? The contributors are world-renowned experts who have helped shape a cutting-edge computational understanding of the universe. They discuss computation in the world from a variety of perspectives, ranging from foundational concepts to pragmatic models to ontological conceptions and philosophical implications. The volume provides a state-of-the-art collection of technical papers and non-technical essays, representing a field that assumes information and computation to be key in understanding and explaining the basic structure underpinning physical reality. It also includes a new edition of Konrad Zuse's “Calculating Space” (the MIT translation), and a panel discussion transcription on the topic, featuring worldwide experts in quantum mechanics, physics, cognition, computation and algorithmic complexity. The volume is dedicated to the memory of Alan M Turing — the inventor of universal computation, on the 100th anniversary of his birth, and is part of the Turing Centenary celebrations. Contents:Foreword (R Penrose)PrefaceAcknowledgementsIntroducing the Computable Universe (H Zenil)Historical, Philosophical & Foundational Aspects of Computation:Origins of Digital Computing: Alan Turing, Charles Babbage, & Ada Lovelace (D Swade)Generating, Solving and the Mathematics of Homo Sapiens. E Post's Views on Computation (L De Mol)Machines (R Turner)Effectiveness (N Dershowitz & E Falkovich)Axioms for Computability: Do They Allow a Proof of Church's Thesis? (W Sieg)The Mathematician's Bias — and the Return to Embodied Computation (S B Cooper)Intuitionistic Mathematics and Realizability in the Physical World (A Bauer)What is Computation? Actor Model versus Turing's Model (C Hewitt)Computation in Nature & the Real World:Reaction Systems: A Natural Computing Approach to the Functioning of Living Cells (A Ehrenfeucht, J Kleijn, M Koutny & G Rozenberg)Bacteria, Turing Machines and Hyperbolic Cellular Automata (M Margenstern)Computation and Communication in Unorganized Systems (C Teuscher)The Many Forms of Amorphous Computational Systems (J Wiedermann)Computing on Rings (G J Martínez, A Adamatzky & H V McIntosh)Life as Evolving Software (G J Chaitin)Computability and Algorithmic Complexity in Economics (K V Velupillai & S Zambelli)Blueprint for a Hypercomputer (F A Doria)Computation & Physics & the Physics of Computation:Information-Theoretic Teleodynamics in Natural and Artificial Systems (A F Beavers & C D Harrison)Discrete Theoretical Processes (DTP) (E Fredkin)The Fastest Way of Computing All Universes (J Schmidhuber)The Subjective Computable Universe (M Hutter)What Is Ultimately Possible in Physics? (S Wolfram)Universality, Turing Incompleteness and Observers (K Sutner)Algorithmic Causal Sets for a Computational Spacetime (T Bolognesi)The Computable Universe Hypothesis (M P Szudzik)The Universe is Lawless or “Pantôn chrêmatôn metron anthrôpon einai” (C S Calude, F W Meyerstein & A Salomaa)Is Feasibility in Physics Limited by Fantasy Alone? (C S Calude & K Svozil)The Quantum, Computation & Information:What is Computation? (How) Does Nature Compute? (D Deutsch)The Universe as Quantum Computer (S Lloyd)Quantum Speedup and Temporal Inequalities for Sequential Actions (M Żukowski)The Contextual Computer (A Cabello)A Gödel-Turing Perspective on Quantum States Indistinguishable from Inside (T Breuer)When Humans Do Compute Quantum (P Zizzi)Open Discussion Section:Open Discussion on A Computable Universe (A Bauer, T Bolognesi, A Cabello, C S Calude, L De Mol, F Doria, E Fredkin, C Hewitt, M Hutter, M Margenstern, K Svozil, M Szudzik, C Teuscher, S Wolfram & H Zenil)Live Panel Discussion (transcription):What is Computation? (How) Does Nature Compute? (C S Calude, G J Chaitin, E Fredkin, A J Leggett, R de Ruyter, T Toffoli & S Wolfram)Zuse's Calculating Space:Calculating Space (Rechnender Raum) (K Zuse)Afterword to Konrad Zuse's Calculating Space (A German & H Zenil) Readership: Graduate students who are specialized researchers in computer science, information theory, quantum theory and modern philosophy and the general public who are interested in these subject areas. Keywords:Digital Physics;Computational Universe;Digital Philosophy;Reality Theories of the Universe;Models of the World;Thring Computation RandomnessKey Features:The authors are all prominent researchersNo competing titlesState-of-the-art collection of technical papers and non-technical essays

Understanding Information and Computation

From Einstein to Web Science

Understanding Information and Computation

Most would acknowledge the World Wide Web to be a truly astounding thing. It has changed the ways in which we interact, learn and innovate. It is also the largest socio-technical system mankind has ever created and is advancing at a pace that leaves most spectators in awe.

Information and Computation

Essays on Scientific and Philosophical Understanding of Foundations of Information and Computation

Information and Computation

This volume provides a cutting-edge view of the world's leading authorities in fields where information and computation play a central role.

Computation and Logic in the Real World

Third Conference on Computability in Europe, CiE 2007, Siena, Italy, June 18-23, 2007, Proceedings

Computation and Logic in the Real World

CiE2007:ComputationandLogicintheRealWorld Siena,Italy,June18-23,2007 Computability in Europe (CiE) is an informal network of European scientists working on computability theory, including its foundations, technical devel- ment, and applications. Among the aims of the network is to advance our t- oretical understanding of what can and cannot be computed, by any means of computation. Its scienti'c vision is broad: computations may be performed with discrete or continuous data by all kinds of algorithms, programs, and - chines. Computations may be made by experimenting with any sort of physical system obeying the laws of a physical theory such as Newtonian mechanics, quantum theory, or relativity. Computations may be very general, depending upon the foundations of set theory; or very speci'c, using the combinatorics of ?nite structures. CiE also works on subjects intimately related to computation, especially theories of data and information, and methods for formal reasoning about computations. The sources of new ideas and methods include practical developments in areas such as neural networks, quantum computation, natural computation, molecular computation, computational learning. Applications are everywhere,especially, in algebra,analysisand geometry, or data types and p- gramming. Within CiE there is general recognition of the underlying relevance of computability to physics and a broad range of other sciences, providing as it does a basic analysis of the causal structure of dynamical systems.

In Search of Elegance in the Theory and Practice of Computation

Essays dedicated to Peter Buneman

In Search of Elegance in the Theory and Practice of Computation

This Festschrift volume, published in honour of Peter Buneman, contains contributions written by some of his colleagues, former students, and friends. In celebration of his distinguished career a colloquium was held in Edinburgh, Scotland, 27-29 October, 2013. The articles presented herein belong to some of the many areas of Peter's research interests.

GeoComputation, Second Edition

GeoComputation, Second Edition

A revision of Openshaw and Abrahart’s seminal work, GeoComputation, Second Edition retains influences of its originators while also providing updated, state-of-the-art information on changes in the computational environment. In keeping with the field’s development, this new edition takes a broader view and provides comprehensive coverage across the field of GeoComputation. See What’s New in the Second Edition: Coverage of ubiquitous computing, the GeoWeb, reproducible research, open access, and agent-based modelling Expanded chapter on Genetic Programming and a separate chapter developed on Evolutionary Algorithms Ten chapters updated by the same or new authors and eight new chapters added to reflect state of the art Each chapter is a stand-alone entity that covers a particular topic. You can simply dip in and out or read it from cover to cover. The opening chapter by Stan Openshaw has been preserved, with only a limited number of minor essential modifications having been enacted. This is not just a matter of respect. Openshaw’s work is eloquent, prophetic, and his overall message remains largely unchanged. In contrast to other books on this subject, GeoComputation: Second Edition supplies a state-of-the-art review of all major areas in GeoComputation with chapters written especially for this book by invited specialists. This approach helps develop and expand a computational culture, one that can exploit the ever-increasing richness of modern geographical and geospatial datasets. It also supplies an instructional guide to be kept within easy reach for regular access and when need arises.

A Computable Universe

Understanding and Exploring Nature as Computation

A Computable Universe

This volume discusses the foundations of computation in relation to nature. It focuses on two main questions: What is computation? and How does nature compute?

Computation and Visualization for Understanding Dynamics in Geographic Domains

A Research Agenda

Computation and Visualization for Understanding Dynamics in Geographic Domains

The world is ever changing, and a comprehensive understanding of the world will not be achieved without theoretical and methodological advances to decode complex dynamics in human and environmental systems. Computation and Visualization for the Understanding of Dynamics in Geographic Domains: A Research Agenda synthesizes key ideas and issues discussed during the UCGIS hosted workshop on computation. It expands upon popular discussions to provide a comprehensive overview of geographic dynamics and new approaches to advance our understanding of geographic dynamics through computation and visualization. The text gives an overview of the state of research and how this research relates to intelligence analysis. It addresses broad issues and challenges in areas, such as spatiotemporal analysis and modeling, spatiotemporal visual analytics; spatiotemporal data mining, spatiotemporal reasoning, and spatiotemporal ontologies. The book also fuses suggestions from workshop participants with literature reviews to propose new research agendas and recommendations for future developments and collaboration. With full coverage on current developments and probably challenges, Computation and Visualization for the Understanding of Dynamics in Geographic Domains: A Research Agenda establishes a foundation to promote further studies in geographic dynamics and provides a springboard for the next big scientific and technological breakthrough.