Computation is defined as any type of calculation. Also defined as use of computer technology in Information processing.Computation is a process following a well-defined model understood and expressed in an algorithm, protocol, network topology, etc. Computation is also a major subject matter of computer science: it investigates what can or cannot be done in a computational manner.
Classes of computation
In practice, digital computation is often used to simulate natural processes (for example, Evolutionary computation), including those that are more naturally described by analog models of computation (for example, Artificial neural network).
Computations as a physical phenomenon
A computation can be seen as a purely physical phenomenon occurring inside a closed physical system called a computer. Examples of such physical systems include digital computers, mechanical computers, quantum computers, DNA computers, molecular computers, analog computers or wetware computers. This point of view is the one adopted by the branch of theoretical physics called the physics of computation.
An even more radical point of view is the postulate of digital physics that the evolution of the universe itself is a computation - Pancomputationalism.
Mathematical models of computation
- State models including Turing Machine, push-down automaton, finite state automaton, and PRAM
- Functional models including lambda calculus
- Logical models including logic programming
- Concurrent models including actor model and process calculi
The word computation has an archaic meaning (from its Latin etymological roots), but the word has come back in use with the arising of a new scientific discipline: computer science.
Comparison to calculation
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computation — [ kɔ̃pytasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1413; lat. computatio ♦ Didact. Méthode de supputation du temps. ● computation nom féminin (latin computatio, onis, calcul) Manière de calculer le temps. ⇒COMPUTATION, subst. fém. Calcul, évaluation. Un calcul éclatant… … Encyclopédie Universelle
Computation — Com pu*ta tion, n. [L. computatio: cf. F. computation.] 1. The act or process of computing; calculation; reckoning. [1913 Webster] By just computation of the time. Shak. [1913 Webster] By a computation backward from ourselves. Bacon. [1913… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
computation — early 15c., from M.Fr. computation, from L. computationem (nom. computatio), noun of action from computare (see COMPUTE (Cf. compute)) … Etymology dictionary
Computation — Computation, Zeitberechnung; C. naturalis, vom Anfangspunkt genau bis zum Schlußmoment; C. civilis (juristische), wo die Kalendertage als die kleinsten zu berücksichtigenden Zeittheile angenommen werden. Wichtig fürs Erbrecht, Usucapien und… … Herders Conversations-Lexikon
computation — I noun account, accountancy, accounting, adding, amount computed, appraisal, appreciation, assessment, audit, bookkeeping, calculation, count, counting, deduction, enumeration, estimate, estimation, evaluation, figure work, figuring, measurement … Law dictionary
computation — [n] performing arithmetic calculation, ciphering, computing, counting, data processing, estimating, estimation, figuring, gauge, guess, reckoning, summing, totalling; concept 764 Ant. conjecture, guesstimation … New thesaurus
computation — ► NOUN 1) mathematical calculation. 2) the use of computers, especially as a subject of research or study. DERIVATIVES computational adjective … English terms dictionary
computation — [käm΄pyo͞o tā′shən] n. [ME computacioun < L computatio] 1. the act of computing; calculation 2. a method of computing 3. a result obtained in computing; computed amount computational adj … English World dictionary
computation — [[t]kɒ̱mpjʊte͟ɪʃ(ə)n[/t]] computations N VAR Computation is mathematical calculation. The discrepancies resulted from different methods of computation... He took a few notes and made computations. Syn: calculation … English dictionary
computation — UK [ˌkɒmpjʊˈteɪʃ(ə)n] / US [ˌkɑmpjəˈteɪʃ(ə)n] noun Word forms computation : singular computation plural computations formal a) [countable/uncountable] the process of calculating a number or amount b) [countable] a number or amount that you have… … English dictionary