Artículos con la etiqueta ‘General Literature (cs.GL)’

The Ghost in the Quantum Turing Machine

Por • 24 jun, 2013 • Category: Ambiente

In honor of Alan Turing’s hundredth birthday, I unwisely set out some thoughts about one of Turing’s obsessions throughout his life, the question of physics and free will. I focus relatively narrowly on a notion that I call «Knightian freedom»: a certain kind of in-principle physical unpredictability that goes beyond probabilistic unpredictability. Other, more metaphysical aspects of free will I regard as possibly outside the scope of science. I examine a viewpoint, suggested independently by Carl Hoefer, Cristi Stoica, and even Turing himself, that tries to find scope for «freedom» in the universe’s boundary conditions rather than in the dynamical laws. Taking this viewpoint seriously leads to many interesting conceptual problems. I investigate how far one can go toward solving those problems, and along the way, encounter (among other things) the No-Cloning Theorem, the measurement problem, decoherence, chaos, the arrow of time, the holographic principle, Newcomb’s paradox, Boltzmann brains, algorithmic information theory, and the Common Prior Assumption.

Grasping Complexity

Por • 3 jun, 2013 • Category: Opinion

The century of complexity has come. The face of science has changed. Surprisingly, when we start asking about the essence of these changes and then critically analyse the answers, the result are mostly discouraging. Most of the answers are related to the properties that have been in the focus of scientific research already for more than a century (like non-linearity). This paper is Preface to the special issue «Grasping Complexity» of the journal «Computers and Mathematics with Applications». We analyse the change of era in science, its reasons and main changes in scientific activity and give a brief review of the papers in the issue.

The Recomputation Manifesto

Por • 3 jun, 2013 • Category: Leyes

Replication of scientific experiments is critical to the advance of science. Unfortunately, the discipline of Computer Science has never treated replication seriously, even though computers are very good at doing the same thing over and over again. Not only are experiments rarely replicated, they are rarely even replicable in a meaningful way. Scientists are being encouraged to make their source code available, but this is only a small step. Even in the happy event that source code can be built and run successfully, running code is a long way away from being able to replicate the experiment that code was used for. I propose that the discipline of Computer Science must embrace replication of experiments as standard practice. I propose that the only credible technique to make experiments truly replicable is to provide copies of virtual machines in which the experiments are validated to run. I propose that tools and repositories should be made available to make this happen. I propose to be one of those who makes it happen.

The Mathematician’s Bias – and the Return to Embodied Computation

Por • 22 abr, 2013 • Category: Leyes

There are growing uncertainties surrounding the classical model of computation established by G\»odel, Church, Kleene, Turing and others in the 1930s onwards. The mismatch between the Turing machine conception, and the experiences of those more practically engaged in computing, has parallels with the wider one between science and those working creatively or intuitively out in the ‘real’ world. The scientific outlook is more flexible and basic than some understand or want to admit. The science is subject to limitations which threaten careers. We look at embodiment and disembodiment of computation as the key to the mismatch, and find Turing had the right idea all along – amongst a productive confusion of ideas about computation in the real and the abstract worlds.