Programming Languages and Systems: TUNA
Theories Underpinning Nanite Assemblers
Nanites are tiny robots, with components that can be one billionth of a metre in size, and which cooperate to cause macroscopic effects; nanotech assemblers are nanites that build things atom by atom. We will study the feasibility of developing huge collections of nanites that behave safely. We face the following challenges:
- To look at ways of building computer models of nanites, how they communicate with each other, and how they may be controlled.
- To find ways of knowing when our models of nanites do what they are supposed to do.
- To work out what resources are needed to run these models on a computer.
- To suggest ways that lawyers and experts can be certain that that these nanites work safely.
In carrying out these investigations, we plan to use models of nanites that work like artificial blood cells, and we will study how they stop cuts bleeding. The really interesting thing about these artificial blood cells is that they are very simple, and yet they work together to do something that is very complicated. It is impossible to see from one nanite what hundreds of thousands of them will do when they work together. So, we will simulate their behaviour on a network of computers to see if we have got the ideas right and to make sure that they work safely. There has been a lot of work on the construction of advanced devices based on collections of nanites, but no effort has been made into assuring their safety. We propose to make a contribution on this area.
Communicating complex systems. P.H. Welch, F.R.M. Barnes, and F.A.C. Polack. In Michael G Hinchey, editor, Proceedings of the 11th IEEE International Conference on Engineering of Complex Computer Systems (ICECCS-2006), pages 107-117, Stanford, California, August 2006. IEEE. ISBN: 0-7695-2530-X. (more details) download publication KAR:14440
Lazy Cellular Automata with Communicating Processes. A.T. Sampson, P.H. Welch, and F.R.M. Barnes. In J.F. Broenink, H.W. Roebbers, J.P.E. Sunter, P.H. Welch, and D.C. Wood, editors, Communicating Process Architectures 2005, volume 63 of Concurrent Systems Engineering Series, pages 165-175, IOS Press, The Netherlands, September 2005. IOS Press. (more details) download publication
Initial experiences with occam-pi simulations of blood clotting on the minimum intrusion grid. Peter H. Welch, Brian Vinter, and Frederick R.M. Barnes. In Hamid R. Arabnia, editor, Proceedings of the 2005 International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Processing Techniques and Applications (PDPTA'05), pages 201-207, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, June 2005. CSREA Press. (more details) download publication