Membrane computing is a branch of natural computing which
abstracts computing models starting from the structure and the functioning
of the cell and from the cooperations of cells in tissues, organs, etc.
Several cell-like, tissue-like, and neural-like models were considered
(called, in general, P systems). The main ingredients are the
compartmentalization, multiset processing, parallelism. Most of these
systems were proved to be Turing complete and, in many cases where an
enhanced parallelism is available, polynomial solutions to computationally
hard problems (typically, NP-complete problems) were devised. No lab
implementation was reported, but many programs for simulating P systems
are available. Membrane computing is much explored as a framework for
writing models for biological and bio-medical processes, while
applicationsto/links with economics, approximate optimization, computer
cryptography, etc were reported. Comprehensive details can be found at
http://psystems.disco.unimib.it The talk will be a overview of the domain,
only introducing the basic notions and types of P systems, mentioning
types of results, some typical applications, as well as several research
topics and open problems.
Gheorghe Paun (home page http://www.imar.ro/~gpaun/) e' un
ricercatore di fama internazionale nell'area del "natural computing"
e della teoria dei linguaggi formali. Oltre ad avere una sterminata
produzione scientifica e' autore di testi che sono diventati fonti
primarie di riferimento dei relativi settori di ricerca. Nel '98 ha
introdotto un modello di calcolo distribuito (Membrane Computing)
che nel 2003 e' stato considerato dall'Istitute of Scientific
Information (ISI) come uno dei piu' significativi "Fast Emerging
Research Front in Computer Science".