PASCAL - Pattern Analysis, Statistical Modelling and Computational Learning

Book review of "Imitation of life: How biology is inspiring computing" by Nancy Forbes
Wolfgang Maass
Pattern Analysis and Applications Volume 8, Number 4, pp. 390-391, 2006.


This book surveys a fairly large number of research areas where biology has provided inspiration for the design of novel computational models and algorithms: artificial neural networks, evolutionary algorithms, cellular automata, artificial life, DNA computing, biomolecular self-assembly, amorphous computing, artificial immune systems, and biologically inspired hardware. A remarkable feature of the book is that it explains goals and results of these research areas in a very accessible and vivid style. It uses anecdotes and mini-portraits of researchers in order to avoid the account getting too dry. In addition, a number of figures are used to illustrate new concepts and discoveries. In this way the book manages to cover quite complex material without a single mathematical formula. This is very beneficial, since the topics discussed in this book are of interest for a diverse set of readers of widely varying age and educational background. In fact, the general public has a right to be informed about the research areas that are surveyed in this book since various government agencies have funded this research, with large special funding programs being created for these research areas not only in the US but also in Japan, Europe and many other countries. Therefore books of this type are clearly needed, and I hope that many other potential authors are encouraged by this fine example.

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EPrint Type:Article
Project Keyword:Project Keyword UNSPECIFIED
Subjects:Brain Computer Interfaces
ID Code:3460
Deposited By:Wolfgang Maass
Deposited On:11 February 2008