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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

A Human Approach to Computer Processing

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University of Nottingham scientists are researching "granular computing," a computer paradigm that examines groups or sets of information, called information granules, instead of looking at each piece of information individually. Examining data in granules exposes new patterns and relationships, potentially leading to new types of computer modeling in a variety of fields. Nottingham professor Andrzej Bargiela says the granular approach to computing is inspired by the human thought process. "Creating abstractions from detailed information is essential to human knowledge, interaction, and reasoning," Bargiela says. "The human brain filters the flood of information and distils knowledge subconsciously." He says humans remember the message or purpose of information, not the specific details. For example, people remember conversations, but not every specific word, which would be the raw data in a computer system. Bargiela says a granular computing approach to information processing may lead to human-information processing technology, and could provide a breakthrough in dealing with information overload in a wide variety of applications. Several Nottingham Ph.D. projects explore the application of granular computing, including projects on urban traffic monitoring and control, job scheduling, time-tabling, and protein classification.

From The University of Nottingham
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