Optical Symbolic Processor for Expert System Execution
Quarterly technical rept. 1 Dec 1986-28 Feb 1987
HONEYWELL INC BLOOMINGTON MN PHYSICAL SCIENCES CENTER
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In recent years there has been a great deal of interest in combining the extraordinary communications power of optics with symbolic computing techniques to develop a highly parallel optical computer. Advances in parallel computer architecture and development of digital optical components and systems have laid the groundwork for such a computer. In this report we describe the development of an optical architecture designed for symbolic computing. In previous work we examined logic and functional languages to determine which had characteristics more amenable to optical implementation. We found cf. 2nd Tech. Report that functional languages were a better fit than others and that combinator graph reduction CGR was the appropriate computational model. We also examined symbolic substitution and other optical computing techniques to determine which could provide the most power and flexibility. We decided that symbolic substitution coupled with some form of data movement scheme was the best scheme to employ.
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