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1984 JASON Study on Radical Computing

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 4 years ago


An anonymous reader writes "The Department of Defense has just released a long restricted report by the
JASON group entitled RADICAL COMPUTING. This 1984 study outlines a number
of alternate computing methods that could "result in a radical improvement
in computing". The study attempts to explain the paradox of how the Russian
lag in developing VLSI chips curiously did not critically hinder their
accomplishments in space missions, ICBMs and chess computation. The authors
speculate that the Russians might have achieved breakthroughs in alternative
computing methods such as residue arithmetic and symbolic computing. (More
cynical types assume the Russians bought or stole U.S. chips from the French or
other too-helpful go-betweens.)

The paper, published by the Government Attic website, also mentions how,
eventually, highly parallel computers could make use of these alternative
computational methods. Also discussed are such things as functional programming,
interval arithmetic, recursive machines, multiple processor concurrency, fast
recurrence evaluation, DDA machines, data-flow, and hyper-column cortex model.

Which of these ideas ever came to fruition?"

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