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The authors give an overview of a number of such optical computing architectures, including descriptions of the type of hardware commonly used in optical computing, as well as some of the computational efficiencies of optical devices. The authors go on to discuss optical computing from the point of view of computational complexity theory, with the aim of putting some old, and some very recent, results in context. Finally, the authors focus on a particular optical model of computation called the continuous space machine. The authors describe some results for this model including characterizations in terms of well-known complexity classes.
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