UWE Bristol Unconventional Computing Laboratory Researchers Featured in Special Journal Edition

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Image of a mushroom

Photo courtesy Irina Petrova, 2020

Several academics from UWE Bristol and visiting scholars from the Unconventional Computing Laboratory (UCL) have been featured in a special issue of LINKs, an annual transdisciplinary review, edited by Professor Andy Adamatzky, Professor in Unconventional Computing.

The special issue of LINKs will serve well as a light-touch introduction to unconventional computing for people not familiar with computing and might inspire artists and humanitarians to enter the field.

Unconventional computing is the future of computers. It is the most high speed and capacity which a computer will handle. A way to understand this theory is across its expressivity in the art as seen in Genaro Martínez, Andy Adamatzky, Marcin Schroeder’s research on the art of unconventional computing with cellular automata.

Genaro Martínez shares some of his research images below:

“Cellular automata and Turing machines are both abstract models:

It is the result of a binary collision between two particles in a three-dimensional space. So, later of 112 generations the result is a propagation of symmetric patterns self-replicating, as demonstrated above.

They are related to patterns in the universe or in nature. In this case, a three-dimensional cellular automaton reproduces one of these patterns from a collision of particles. It is related in physics (big bang theory) where the construction of a universe (artificial in this case) begins later of the collision and expands forever.

The above image is a Turing machine in colours. Typically, a Turing machine works in one dimension and shows the steps of an algorithm, in the sense abstract. This is as if you could see step by step how your computer calculates data. Of course, it is not evident for the final user, but in computer science, our picture shows a pictorial representation as a Turing machine works but in two dimensions for a computable process.”

Research from other UCL members was also included in the special edition:

Andy Adamatzky and Irina Petrova’s research on Fungal Grey Matter looks at recent discoveries that the electrical activity of fungi is similar to neurons. They briefly overview their discoveries on sensing and computing with fungi.

In the special issue, Andrew Adamatzky, Anna Nikolaidou, Antoni Gandia and Alessandro Chiolerio briefly reviews their ideas on Living wearables from slime mould and fungi. They argue that Living wearables offer a new spectrum of performance possibilities such as reactiveness, adaptiveness, and sensing capabilities. Whilst also being harmless to the environment, biodegradable and they can even nurture the cultivation of new materials in their end of life.

Finally, UCL member Richard Mayne shares his research on Collapsing the wave function on postquantum unconventional computing. His research examines what quantum computing is, why we need to be aware of it and whether there is a role for unconventional computing in a postquantum world.

All the research mentioned in the special edition of LINKs can be viewed here.

The UCL was founded by Professor Andy Adamatzky in 2001 as a response to an urgent need to develop computers for next century. Their research looks at novel computational techniques, architectures and working prototypes of non-linear media based computers.