Thermodynamics of Computations with Absolute Irreversibility, Unidirectional Transitions, and Stochastic Computation Times

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Developing a thermodynamic theory of computation is a challenging task at the interface of

nonequilibrium thermodynamics and computer science. In particular, this task requires dealing with

difficulties such as stochastic halting times, unidirectional (possibly deterministic) transitions, and

restricted initial conditions, features common in real-world computers. Here, we present a framework

which tackles all such difficulties by extending the martingale theory of nonequilibrium thermodynamics to

generic nonstationary Markovian processes, including those with broken detailed balance and/or absolute

irreversibility. We derive several universal fluctuation relations and second-law-like inequalities that

provide both lower and upper bounds on the intrinsic dissipation associated with any periodic process 

—in particular, the periodic processes underlying all current digital computation.

Presential in the seminar room. Zoom stream:

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Gonzalo Manzano

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