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Computing with CellsAdvances in Membrane Computing$
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Pierluigi Frisco

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199542864

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542864.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Computing with Cells

Pierluigi Frisco

Oxford University Press

This chapter gives a very brief introduction to computability emphasising concepts playing an important role here. The chapter describes how in the 1920s the interest of Alan Turing in describing in mathematical terms the activity of computers, clerks performing computations, led to the definition of an abstract device called a Turing machine, to the start the study of computability and to the enunciation of the Church-Turing thesis. In a similar way the chapter indicates how in 2000 the internal organization of eukariotic cells inspired Gheorghe Păun to define membrane systems, also called P systems, where ‘P’ stands for ‘Păun’. Moreover, the chapter explains some of the advantages offered by membrane computing, the field of research using membrane systems to define computability models in order to study computation and computational complexity issues and to model processes of biology, linguistics, economics, etc., with respect to more classical approaches.

Keywords:   A. Turing, Turing machine, G. Păun, membrane computing, eukaryotic

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