On Inherent Complexity of Computation

by Attila Szegedi, Oracle 

Thursday, 13 June 2013 11:00

The system you just recently deployed is likely an application processing some data, likely relying on some configuration, maybe using some plugins, certainly relying on some libraries, using services of an operating system running on some physical hardware. The previous sentence names 7 categories into which we compartmentalise various parts of a computation process that’s in the end going on in a physical world. Where do you draw the line of functionality between categories? From what vantage points do these distinctions become blurry? Finally, how does it all interact with the actual physical world in which the computation takes place? (What is the necessary physical minimum required to perform a computation, anyway?) Let’s make a journey from your AOP-assembled, plugin-injected, YAML-configured, JIT compiled, Hotspot-executed, Linux-on-x86 hosted Java application server talking JSON-over-HTTP-over-TCP-over-IP-over-Ethernet all the way down to electrons. And then back.