Computerworld has a story on how it can “leverage on the strength of multitudes of components to overcome the power of monolithic systems.”
Amorphous which means lacking definite form, of no particular type and lacking organisation is a concept that accepts heterogeneity as a way of life, yet allows very different components the ability to interact with one another in their own manner. This allows for many different interpretations for amorphous computing.
Also known as swarm computing, amorphous computing emphasises the concept that a collective result that emerges from individual micro-level behaviours could provide a more efficient system. It is, in a sense, a form of bio-mimicry in which scientists get inspiration from nature. Amorphous computing is similar to the concept of a colony of cells cooperating to form a multi-cellular organism under the direction of a genetic programme shared by the members of the colony.
Instead of a single monolithic system, the concept of amorphous computing tries to obtain coherent behaviours from the cooperation of large number of unreliable parts that are interconnected in unknown, irregular and time-variable ways.
I have been thinking a little about this in reference to how the Memex can be built out. More on this in due course.