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The purpose of this paper is to investigate models of computation from a realistic , viewpoint. We introduce the concept of physical computation as opposed to functional computation, and by referring to the laws of physics we study the basic criteria which a model of computation must meet in order to be realistic. With this formal apparatus, we define a very general, realistic model of planar, digital circuits, which allows for full parallelism. This model is especially well suited to describedoi:10.1016/0304-3975(83)90044-0 fatcat:om7ky4iepjhvlhe266ekmobzzm