Publication 2617

Briscoe G. & Paolo P. (2010) Towards autopoietic computing. In: Colugnati F. A. B., Lopes L. C. R. & Barretto S. F. A. (eds.) Digital ecosystems. Spinger, New York: 199–212. Fulltext at
A key challenge in modern computing is to develop systems that address complex, dynamic problems in a scalable and efficient way, because the increasing complexity of software makes designing and maintaining efficient and flexible systems increasingly difficult. Biological systems are thought to possess robust, scalable processing paradigms that can automatically manage complex, dynamic problem spaces, possessing several properties that may be useful in computer systems. The biological properties of self-organisation, self-replication, self-management, and scalability are addressed in an interesting way by autopoiesis, a descriptive theory of the cell founded on the concept of a system’s circular organisation to define its boundary with its environment. In this paper, therefore, we review the main concepts of autopoiesis and then discuss how they could be related to fundamental concepts and theories of computation. The paper is conceptual in nature and the emphasis is on the review of other people’s work in this area as part of a longer-term strategy to develop a formal theory of autopoietic computing.

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