From Computation to Interaction: towards a science of information
Samson Abramsky ( University of Edinburgh )
As computer systems have developed from stand-alone batch processing to distributed systems and on to today's "global computing" on the Internet, the classical notion of "computation" has itself undergone a radical transformation. Instead of a program working in isolation to produce an output from an input, we have complex systems of agents interacting with each other to achieve some global effect. In the course of this development, the notions of agent, interaction and information flow have taken centre stage. On the one hand, this forces a re-examination of basic ideas, perhaps even in the foundations of logic itself; but in return, these newly emerging ideas may form part of the basis of a genuine science of information.