Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

EECS Publication

Preliminary Development of a Formalism for Embodied Computation and Morphogenesis

Bruce MacLennan

The theory of embodied computation, like the theory of embodied cognition, provides opportunities as well as challenges. On one hand, such computation is intimately connected with its physical realization, both because postMoore's Law densities demand more direct exploitation of physical processes, but also because the purposes of embodied computing are often physical (e.g., self-assembly, microrobotics). These characteristics make embodied computing more difficult than conventional computing, because it is not so idealized (independent of its material realization). On the other hand, embodied computation can make productive use of its physical realization, for example, by using the physical states and processes of itself and its environment in place of computational representations. Thus it has implicit computational resources unavailable to conventional computing. In order to fulfill this promise, we will need both formal and informal models of embodied computing that directly address the interaction of formal and physical processes in embodied computational systems. These will be essential cognitive tools for conceptualizing, designing, and reasoning about embodied computation. In this talk I will present a preliminary design for one such model, which is of general applicability, but especially oriented toward artificial morphogenesis (self-assembly of complex hierarchical structures by processes analogous to embryological morphogenesis).

Published  2009-08-06 04:00:00  as  ut-cs-09-644 (ID:76)


« Back to Listing