A Universal Flying Amorphous Computer

  • Lukáš Petrū
  • Jiří Wiedermann
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6714)


Amorphous computers are systems that derive their computational capability from the operation of vast numbers of simple, identical, randomly distributed and locally communicating units. The wireless communication ability and the memory capacity of the computational units is severely restricted due to their minimal size. Moreover, the units originally have no identifiers and can only use simple communication protocols that cannot guarantee a reliable message delivery. In this work we concentrate on a so-called flying amorphous computer whose units are in a constant motion. The units are modelled by miniature RAMs communicating via radio. We design a distributed probabilistic communication protocol and an algorithm enabling a simulation of a RAM in finite time. The underlying algorithms make use of a number of original ideas having no counterpart in the classical theory of distributed computing. Our result is the first one showing computational universality of a flying amorphous computer.


Base Node Setup Phase Amorphous System Broadcast Algorithm Broadcast Protocol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Abelson, H., et al.: Amorphous Computing. MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Memo No. 1665 (August 1999)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Abelson, H., Allen, D., Coore, D., Hanson, C., Homsy, G., Knight Jr., T.F., Nagpal, R., Rauch, E., Sussman, G.J., Weiss, R.: Amorphous Computing. Communications of the ACM 43(5), 74–82 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Abelson, H., Beal, J., Sussman, G.J.: Amorphous Computing. Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Technical Report, MIT-CSAIL-TR-2007-030 (June 2007)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Aho, A.V., Hopcroft, J.E., Ullman, J.D.: The Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms. Addison-Wesley, Reading (1974)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hoyle, F.: The Black Cloud, 219 p. Penguin Books (1957)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kahn, J.M., Katz, R.H., Pister, K.S.: Next century challenges: mobile networking for ”Smart Dust”. In: Proceedings of the 5th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 1999, pp. 271–278. ACM, New York (August 1999)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kahn, J.M., Katz, R.H., Pister, K.S.J.: Emerging Challenges: Mobile Networking for Smart Dust. Journal of Communications and Networks 2, 188–196 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kurzweil, R.: The Singularity is Near, p. 652 pages. Viking Books, New York (2005)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Petrů, L.: Universality in Amorphous Computing. PhD Disseration Thesis, Dept. of Math. and Physics, Charles University, Prague (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Petrů, L., Wiedermann, J.: A Model of an Amorphous Computer and Its Communication Protocol. In: van Leeuwen, J., Italiano, G.F., van der Hoek, W., Meinel, C., Sack, H., Plášil, F. (eds.) SOFSEM 2007. LNCS, vol. 4362, pp. 446–455. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sailor, M.J., Link, J.R.: Smart dust: nanostructured devices in a grain of sand. Chemical Communications 11, 1375 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Vinge, V.: A Deepness in the Sky, 800 p. Tor Books (January 2000)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Warneke, B., Last, M., Liebowitz, B., Pister, K.S.J.: Smart Dust: communicating with a cubic-millimeter computer. Computer 34(1), 44–51 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Warneke, B., Atwood, B., Pister, K.S.J.: Smart dust mote forerunners. In: Proceedings of the 14th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, MEMS 2001, pp. 357–360 (2001)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wiedermann, J., Petrů, L.: Computability in Amorphous Structures. In: Cooper, S.B., Löwe, B., Sorbi, A. (eds.) CiE 2007. LNCS, vol. 4497, pp. 781–790. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wiedermann, J., Petrů, L.: Communicating mobile nano-machines and their computational power. In: Cheng, M. (ed.) NanoNet 2008. Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, vol. 3, pp. 123–130. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wiedermann, J., Petrů, L.: On the Universal Computing Power of Amorphous Computing Systems. Theory of Computing Systems 46(4), 995–1010 (2009), MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wiedermann, J.: Nanomachine Computing by Quorum Sensing. In: Kelemen, J., Kelemenova, A. (eds.) Computation, Cooperation, and Life, Festschrifte. LNCS. Springer, Heidelberg (to appear, 2011)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lukáš Petrū
    • 1
  • Jiří Wiedermann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Computer ScienceAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPrague 8Czech Republic

Personalised recommendations