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Название: Advances in Computers, Volume 31
Автор: Yovits M.
The serial Advances in Computers provides a medium for the in-depth presentation of subjects of both current and long-range interest to the computer and information community. Within this framework, contributions for appropriate articles have been solicited from widely recognized experts in their fields. The time scale of the invitation is such that it permits a relatively leisurely perspective. Furthermore, the permitted length of the contributions is greater than many other publications. Thus, topics are treated both in depth and breadth.
The serial began in 1960 and now continues with Volume
31. These books have played an important role over the years in the development of the computer and information fields. As these fields have continued to expand — both in research and resulting applications as well as in their significance — so does the importance of the Advances series. As a consequence, it was decided that Academic Press would again this year publish two volumes, 30 and
31. Volume 30 was published earlier this year.
Included in Volume 31 are chapters on command and control information systems, automatic speech recognition, reliability modeling of computer systems, molecular computing, and the foundations of information science.
In the first chapter, Professor Andriole presents a multidisciplinary information systems design and development methodology that assumes more complex design challenges than we have faced in the past. The emphasis is on the process by which complex analytical problem-solving requirements are converted into computer-based systems. The author emphasizes the application of the information systems engineering process to command and control information and decision systems. He points out that, without structure, the design and development process will almost always fail.
DeMori, Palakal, and Cosi state in their chapter that speaker-independent automatic speech recognition by computers of large or difficult vocabularies is still an unsolved problem, especially if words are pronounced connectedly. Since the early 1970s, there has been substantial progress toward the goal of constructing machines capable of recognizing and/or understanding human speech. One of the key improvements has been the development and application of mathematical methods that permit modeling the speech signal as a complex code with several, coexisting levels of structure. The authors present several past approaches and some current trends in automatic speech recognition research: using models based on speech production, and using models based on speech perception.
In the third chapter, Drs. Heimann, Mittal and Trivedi address computer system dependability analysis, which ties together concepts such as reliability, maintainability and availability. It serves, along with cost and performance, as a major system selection criterion. Three classes of dependability measures are described: system availability, system reliability, and task completion. The authors point out that the concept of system dependability is being considered with increasing interest as a component of computer system effectiveness and as a criterion used by customers for product selection decisions. They conclude that which of the measures is appropriate depends on the specific application under investigation, the availability of relevant data, and the usage or customer profile.
Professor Conrad writes in the fourth chapter about molecular computers that are information processing systems in which individual molecules play a critical role. Natural biological systems fit this definition. Artificial information processing systems fabricated from molecular materials might emulate biology or follow new architectural principles. In either case they would qualify as molecular computers. The term may also apply to simulations of biomolecular systems or to virtual molecular computers implemented in conventional silicon machines. Conrad shows that molecular computing is both a science and a technology. These two factors are highly synergistic. The attempt to synthesize biomimetic or new molecular computing devices is an outgrowth of fundamental research in molecular and cellular biophysics, condensed-matter physics, polymer chemistry, neurophysiology, and computer science. It is likely to lead to new insights into mechanisms and materials that impact these areas as well.
In the final chapter, Professor Debons considers the foundations of information science. He states that a perennial question posed by individuals both inside and outside the field of information concerns its nature: What is it? What are its essences, its structures, its boundaries? The study of information can be traced to antiquity, to philosophers and scholars concerned with the nature of knowledge. Contemporary information science arose from the scientific renaissance of the present century spurred by the launching of Sputnik. Advances in electronics, referred to as the "communication revolution," increased the ability to transmit data for processing quickly and for greater distances. Debons considers the nature of the term "information"; he deals with information as a discipline and then synthesizes the various aspects of the science.
It is my great pleasure to thank the contributors to this volume. They have given extensively of their time and effort to make this book an important and timely contribution to their profession. Despite the many calls upon their time, they recognized the necessity of writing substantial review and tutorial articles. It has required considerable effort on their part, and their cooperation and assistance is greatly appreciated. Because of their efforts, this volume achieves a high level of excellence and should be of great value for many years to come. It has been a pleasant and rewarding experience for me to edit this volume and to work with these authors.