Re: Reversible Computation and Experience

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Tue May 08 2001 - 07:13:29 MDT

Eugene Leitl wrote:
>Lee Corbin responded to Hal Finney:
> > >A reversible computer is as likely to take a step backwards as forwards.
>That's a rather strange definition, to say the least.
> > >So even if it manages to complete a calculation from A to B, the process
> > >will be a random walk, moving forward and backwards many times over each
> > >portion of the path from A to B.
> >
> > This thought is entirely new to me, yet makes perfect sense.
>This thought is entirely new to me as well, and makes absolutely no sense
>at all. I don't recall the canonical definition of reversiblity (a 30 sec
>session with Google should pull it up), but I would define it that during
>system evolution no two or more states may be mapped to a single state.

I have to agree with Eugene here. Hal seems to be talking about a
"completely" reversible computer, which I don't think is what people
mean by a reversible computer.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 10:00:03 MDT