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A Structural Approach to Reversible Computation Samson Abramsky

Summary: A Structural Approach to Reversible Computation
Samson Abramsky
Oxford University Computing Laboratory
Reversibility is a key issue in the interface between computation
and physics, and of growing importance as miniaturization progresses
towards its physical limits. Most foundational work on reversible com-
puting to date has focussed on simulations of low-level machine mod-
els. By contrast, we develop a more structural approach. We show how
high-level functional programs can be mapped compositionally (i.e. in
a syntax-directed fashion) into a simple kind of automata which are
immediately seen to be reversible. The size of the automaton is lin-
ear in the size of the functional term. In mathematical terms, we are
building a concrete model of functional computation. This construc-
tion stems directly from ideas arising in Geometry of Interaction and
Linear Logic--but can be understood without any knowledge of these
topics. In fact, it serves as an excellent introduction to them. At the
same time, an interesting logical delineation between reversible and
irreversible forms of computation emerges from our analysis.
1 Introduction


Source: Abramsky, Samson - Computing Laboratory, University of Oxford


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences