Re: Signal Processing (was BLUE GENE)

From: Martin Striz (
Date: Wed Apr 12 2006 - 00:58:33 MDT

On 4/12/06, J. Andrew Rogers <> wrote:

> Signal processing is very cheap because it was a trivial exercise to
> produce biological hardware with the necessary primitives.

Neurons aren't simple or cheap. In fact, they are needlessly complex.
 But your point is taken, once the elements are there, signal
processing is relatively straightforward.

> Matrix
> algebra, on the other hand, is *not* cheap to do biologically except
> as the complex aggregate of a boatload of cheap primitives. Delay
> lines and summing are obviously cheap in terms of biological
> systems. Matrix algebra is not, unless you reduce it to complex
> assemblies of the aforementioned primitives (complex assemblies also
> being relatively cheap). Wetware DSP was cheap and of high utility,
> and therefore a common evolutionary result. If matrix algebra has
> utility, such a system is capable of competent approximations.

> What would you expect to happen in an evolutionary environment where
> biological DSP primitives were cheap and of high utility, knowing
> that highly sophisticated DSP processes can be constructed from those
> cheap primitives? I think you underestimate the adaptivity of
> evolution, particularly when given fine raw materials to work with.

Of course. When you said that it would be strange not to take
advantage of neural capabilities, I thought you meant generally, not
just for DSP. You might expect signal processing, but not any
particular type of complex computation.


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