Co-Designing the Computational Model and the Computing Substrate

(Invited Paper)
  • Susan StepneyEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11493)


Given a proposed unconventional computing substrate, we can ask: Does it actually compute? If so, how well does it compute? Can it be made to compute better? Given a proposed unconventional computational model we can ask: How powerful is the model? Can it be implemented in a substrate? How faithfully or efficiently can it be implemented? Given complete freedom in the choice of model and substrate, we can ask: Can we co-design a model and substrate to work well together?

Here I propose an approach to posing and answering these questions, building on an existing definition of physical computing and framework for characterising the computing properties of given substrates.



Thanks to my colleagues Matt Dale, Dom Horsman, Viv Kendon, Julian Miller, Simon O’Keefe, Angelika Sebald, and Martin Trefzer for illuminating discussions, and collaboration on the work that has led to these ideas.

This work is part-funded by the SpInspired project, UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant EP/R032823/1.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of YorkYorkUK
  2. 2.York Cross-disciplinary Centre for Systems AnalysisUniversity of YorkYorkUK

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