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Impact Of Computing Power On Computing Scenario

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Engineering and Math Potpouri

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

13.688.1 - 13.688.14



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Paper Authors

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S.K. Sen Florida Institute of Technology


Gholam Ali Shaykhian NASA

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Gholam "Ali" Shaykhian is a Software Engineer with Application, Simulation and Support Software Branch, Shuttle Processing Directorate, NASA KSC. Shaykhian has worked at KSC since 1986. He joined NASA in April 2000. He is a professional member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic (IEEE). He has a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), Melbourne, Florida. Ali teaches graduate courses at FIT, University College, Melbourne, Florida.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Impact of Computing Power on Computing Scenario Abstract Computing scenario over centuries/millenniums has been changing based on the tools/power of tools  often innovative  available to mankind. We discuss here briefly how the computing scenes go on evolving based on the availability and usage of newer and newer computing tools leading to early twenty-first century computing scene due to electronic supercomputing devices.

1 Introduction

Computing has been the necessity since time immemorial, even before the dawn of civilization. It must have come to exist when a human being realized the concept of his/her possession/property such as children, food items, and places for dwelling. Computing along with counting started evolving since then. We present here the pre-computer age methodology/psychology of computing based on the then available tools [1] along with the computer age changing scenario of computing. The main purpose is to highlight the differences between the pre-computer age ingenuity/mode of thinking based on the then available tools and the computer age innovations/mode of thinking based on the most remarkable tool, viz., the electronic computer. Also, even in the computer age where the computing power  the processing speed, the band width, and the hard disk space along with the executable memory storage space  is steadily increasing, the importance/dominance of algorithms for scientific and engineering computations are also shifting. For example, evolutionary approaches such as the genetic algorithms, ant approaches, and simulated annealing, specifically for NP-hard problems such as the traveling salesman problems, are increasingly becoming more dominant and innovative than the corresponding deterministic procedures. There are exponential-time deterministic algorithms such as the best k -digit rational approximation of a given irrational number, Gomory method for general all-integer programs, and the north-west corner rule combined with shadow cost method for transportation problems. Although such problems are intractable when dimensions are large, the currently available ultra-high computing speed  over one billion flops (floating-point operations per second) sequential speed  along with commensurable memory and band-width permits us to solve many real-world exponential practical problems in a reasonable time for reasonable values of dimensions. Such problems could not have been earlier attempted due to limitation of computing power. The parallel computing, in addition, enhances the prospect of computing deterministically the solution of many hitherto intractable practical problems. However, we have stressed the point that there will still remain many real world very useful NP-hard problems for which no deterministic algorithms will ever be tractable as these will take centuries for the deterministic outputs; no matter how much the computing speed beyond even peta-flops (1015 floating point operations per second) is increased [2]. The only algorithms in these problems are evolutionary approaches which are usually polynomial-time. During the pre-computer era over the past many centuries the mathematicians/physicists/astronomers had used tools such as those of geometry and intelligent mathematical derivations to perform many important numerical computations such as those for π , e, and golden ratio to an accuracy which though in the high- speed computer era seem to be very normal/easy were definitely milestones of human ingenuity of ancient pre-computer age scientists. Even much before this period of centuries, the

Sen, S., & Shaykhian, G. A. (2008, June), Impact Of Computing Power On Computing Scenario Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3182

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