We investigate the computational properties of finite binary- and analog-state discrete-time symmetric Hopfield nets. For binary networks, we obtain a simulation of convergent asymmetric networks by symmetric networks with only a linear increase in network size and computation time. Then we analyze the convergence time of Hopfield nets in terms of the length of their bit representations. Here we construct an analog symmetric network whose convergence time exceeds the convergence time of any binary Hopfield net with the same representation length. Further, we prove that the MIN ENERGY problem for analog Hopfield nets is NP-hard and provide a polynomial time approximation algorithm for this problem in the case of binary nets. Finally, we show that symmetric analog nets with an external clock are computationally Turing universal.

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