Crash-proof computer created by London researchers
By Stewart Mitchell
Posted on 18 Feb 2013 at 11:10
Researchers at University College London are working on a computer that can repair itself to prevent crashes – instantly recovering and fixing corrupted data.
In a report in the New Scientist, the researchers explain that their computer is based on the chaos of the natural world, which marks a significant break from the linear way in which conventional computers work through sets of instructions.
Instead of working through inputs from each program running on a PC to reach a goal, the "systemic" self-repairing computer mimics the way nature reacts to challenges.
"Its processes are distributed, decentralised and probabilistic. And they are fault tolerant, able to heal themselves,” said UCL computer scientist Peter Bentley. "A computer should be able to do that."
If one system becomes corrupted the computer can access another clean copy to repair its own code
The computer combines its instructions with the data it receives so that it can adapt the instructions to match changing circumstances, and hives data sets off to separate "systems" within the computer.
The computer can also use environmental data, linking the temperature outside with how to react if the conditions are too hot. Once it has calculated how to react to such a scenario, the results are divided between separate systems within the computer, where they are treated as individual elements.
The distributed nature of the systems is key to the project, the scientists say, because the computer "contains multiple copies of its instructions distributed across its many systems, so if one system becomes corrupted the computer can access another clean copy to repair its own code".
The result is that instead of crashing and rendering a screen of death, the system accesses the data from another of its self-contained systems to perform the operation, and then goes back and corrects the corrupt data.
This sounds like some half baked wishful thinking. Unfortunately none of the articles on this really give any clue what they have come up with, or how it can cope with programming errors.
By tirons1 on 18 Feb 2013
Self aware computer
Skynet has become a reality, keep your eyes open for bright flashing lights and a naked Arnie appearing in your streets.
By snpjones on 21 Feb 2013
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office