Bezalel Gavish
Southern Methodist University , USA
Limits on the computing capacity of the human Brain

We introduce bounds on future computers processing capacity and analyze the possibilities for their realization in the long run. The analysis shows the existence of hard limits on the progress in processing capacity which in turn generates bounds on future computing capacity. The results show that it is unlikely that some of the predictions on future computing capabilities will be ever achieved. The capacity bounds stem from fundamental physical limitations, which generate the relatively tight bounds. We develop different physical bounds that depend among other things on the energy required to flip a single bit and in some cases on the type of processing architecture. We show that the bounds will be reached much faster than expected when compared to using simple traditional forecasting methods.

Assuming that computational activities like, decision making, processing, vision, control, auditory and sensing activities of human beings require energy, the above energy based results generate upper bounds on the computational capacity (in the broadest sense) of human beings. The results are architecture independent and have direct impact on research on models of the brain and provide bounds on the cognitive abilities of human beings. A byproduct of this line of research is providing some explanation on the development of the human brain and the limits imposed on it. We also provide conjectures future physical development of the brain and brain related features of human beings.


Professor Bezalel Gavish holds the Eugene J. and Ruth F. Constantin Distinguished Chair in Business at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. He was the Chairman of the Information Technology and Operations Management (ITOM). He is the founding Chairman of the International Conference on Telecommunications Systems Management and the International Conference on Telecommunications and Electronic Commerce. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the Telecommunication Systems Journal, and of the Electronic Commerce Research Journal. He is the President of the American Telecommunications Systems Management Association.

Professor Gavish serves has published over 100 papers in his areas of expertise, he was Telecommunications Departmental Editor for the Operations Research journal, Department Editor of Distributed Systems in ORSA Journal on Computing, and serves on the editorial boards of the Wireless Networks journal, Networks, Annals of Information Systems, Computers and Operations Research, Annals of Mathematics of Artificial Intelligence, INFOR, Mathematics of Industrial Systems, Combinatorial Optimization: Theory and Practice.

Bezalel Gavish received the Ph.D. (1975) from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Before joining SMU, he was the Computers and Information Systems (CIS) Area Coordinator at the Simon School of Business, University of Rochester (1976 to 1987), from 1987 to 2000 he was the area coordinator of CIS at, Vanderbilt University. From 1968 to 1973 he was Department Head of Systems Analysis and Scientific Programming, in charge of developing large-scale computerized logistics and transportation management systems. From 1973 to 1976, he was Head of a team at theIBMScientificCenterwhose mission was to develop a prototype and test the feasibility of developing a system for computer-assisted medical diagnosis. He was a Visiting Faculty Member at theIBMWatson Research Center, Bell Laboratories, GTE Laboratories, British Telecommunications Research Labs, NTT Labs, a Distinguished Research Scientist, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration- Bergen. He served as the Grace Murrey Hopper Professor at theNavalPostgraduateSchoolinMonterey,CA.

Professor Gavish was and is a consultant to numerous corporations and government agencies. His consulting activities included: Economic analysis of the impact of telecommunication systems on regional development, the economic impact of telecommunication systems on industrial and government organizations, optimal routing, routing and capacity assignment and topological design of communication networks. Different research issues in LEOS. Routing and capacity assignment in ATM and SONET based systems. Configuration and placement of concentrator and PBXs. Optimal configuration of distributed computing systems, database placement and processing. System reliability and reliable routing in communication networks.

His research interests include the design and analysis of computer communication networks, design and analysis of distributed computing systems, modeling of search processes on the Web.The impact of the Internet and electronic commerce on economic activity, group decision support systems and their implementation, combinatorial optimization, and scheduling and routing in manufacturing and logistic systems. His research in telecommunications and computer networks concentrates on the topological design of wide area networks, Fiber deployment and design and analysis of local access networks, capacity assignment and routing in backbone networks, configuring cellular phone systems, analysis of low earth orbit satellite systems, economic and organizational impact of telecommunications and electronic commerce. Recently he moved into research on Fraud and Trust on the Internet and the Impact of anonymity on individual and business activities. He is investigating theoretical limits on computing and their impact on human brain development.

Professor Gavish is a senior member of IEEE, a member of the ACM, a Fellow of INFORMS, IEEE and IEEE Communications Society. He is the recipient of the 1972 IPA Award and the 1982 AIIE Transactions Development and Applications Award, he is past President of ORSA special interest group on Telecommunications.