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Computers Have Memories Too

By Simons Foundation

May 12, 2022

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Sometimes computer crashes occur because a computer program looks for something that no longer exists. This is a problem that Sebastian Wolff, a first-year Junior Fellow with the Simons Society of Fellows, wants to solve. Wolff uses theory to solve practical computer problems caused by the advent of concurrent computer systems, in which a computer or set of computers works on many tasks at the same time.

"In my research, I proposed a set of conditions on data structures that guarantee that the use of...manual deletion and periodic scan-and-delete processes are indistinguishable," Wolff says in an interview. "This approach reduces system crashes by preventing access to deleted items."

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