Abstract

Spiking neural P systems with weights are a new class of distributed and parallel computing models inspired by spiking neurons. In such models, a neuron fires when its potential equals a given value (called a threshold). In this work, spiking neural P systems with thresholds (SNPT systems) are introduced, where a neuron fires not only when its potential equals the threshold but also when its potential is higher than the threshold. Two types of SNPT systems are investigated. In the first one, we consider that the firing of a neuron consumes part of the potential (the amount of potential consumed depends on the rule to be applied). In the second one, once a neuron fires, its potential vanishes (i.e., it is reset to zero). The computation power of the two types of SNPT systems is investigated. We prove that the systems of the former type can compute all Turing computable sets of numbers and the systems of the latter type characterize the family of semilinear sets of numbers. The results show that the firing mechanism of neurons has a crucial influence on the computation power of the SNPT systems, which also answers an open problem formulated in Wang, Hoogeboom, Pan, Păun, and Pérez-Jiménez (2010).

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