Alan Turing: Life and Legacy of a Great Thinker

pp 159-194

Turing’s Ideas and Models of Computation

  • Eugene EberbachAffiliated withComputer and Information Science Department, University of Massachusetts
  • , Dina GoldinAffiliated withComputer Science &; Engineering Department, University of Connecticut
  • , Peter WegnerAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, Brown University

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The theory of computation that we have inherited from the 1960s focuses on algorithmic computation as embodied in the Turing Machine to the exclusion of other types of computation that Turing had considered. In this chapter we present new models of computation, inspired by Turing’s ideas, that are more appropriate for today’s interactive, networked, and embedded computing systems. These models represent super-Turing computation, going beyond Turing Machines and algorithms. We identify three principles underlying super-Turing computation (interaction with the world, infinity of resources, and evolution of systems) and apply these principles in our discussion of the implications of super-Turing computation for the future of computer science.