Abstract

Optics has advantages for overcoming limitations arising when applying existing electronic technologies to real-time parallel computation. In particular, spatial light modulators (SLMs) permit simultaneous storage, multiplication, and/or complex interconnection. A simple expert uses an SLM crossbar switch to provide a flexible and fast implementation of combinatorial logic. A second expert system, illustrated using medical diagnosis, uses the Bayes theorem to update recursively the probabilities of various illnesses given additional symptom information. The a priori probability matrices are stored in SLMs which provide matrix–vector multiplication and interconnection. Computation of the best next symptom question is possible because of the high speed.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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