Friday, December 23, 2005


Is this the way forward?

Martyn Amos's blog has a post on his co-authored paper on Second Generation Biocomputing here. An abstract of the paper may be accessed here, but the following excerpt catches the gist of it:
Previous solutions (the "first generation" of biocomputing techniques), whilst reasonably effective, are crude analogues of actual biological systems. We believe that a new, inherently inter-disciplinary approach is needed for the development of the emerging "second generation" of bio-inspired methods.

There are a number of ways to object to this. We are arguably a good bit beyond the first generation of biologically inspired techniques already, others have previously called for more biology in biologically inspired techniques, and arguably the greatest advances in speed and power have most recently come from dropping fidelity to biology (think EDAs and model builders, for example). I agree that an interdisciplinary approach is needed to advance biologically inspired computing, but it is a greater interdisciplinarity than imagined by the authors of this position paper. In my view, advances in technique come from an interdisciplinary process involving (1) artificially and naturally inspired mechanism, both, (2) effective theory (in the form of little models), and (3) careful implementation and bounding experimentation. Calling for more biology is just one part of this and it is not clear that it is the most important part.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?