Gamma and the Chemical Reaction Model: Fifteen Years After

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Jean-Pierre Banătre, Pascal Fradet, Daniel Le Métayer
Cristian S. Calude, Gheorghe Păun, Grzegorz Rozenberg, Arto Salomaa (eds.)
Multiset Processing. Mathematical, Computer Science, and Molecular Computing Points of View, pages 17-44
Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2235

Gamma was originally proposed in 1986 as a formalism for the definition of programs without artificial sequentiality. The basic idea underlying the formalism is to describe computation as a form of chemical reaction on a collection of individual pieces of data. Due to the very minimal nature of the language, and its absence of sequential bias, it has been possible to exploit this initial paradigm in various directions. This paper reviews most of the work around Gamma considered as a programming or as a specification language. A special emphasis is placed on unexpected applications of the chemical reaction model, showing that this paradigm has been a source of inspiration in various research areas. This paper is a revised version of Gamma and the chemical reaction model: ten years after. It has been reorganized and includes additional sections on applications of the chemical reaction model. Sections presenting large examples, extensions of the formalism and implementations issues have been seriously shortened. The reader is referred to the original papers for further details on these topics.