The rapid solution of several optimization problems by highly interconnected networks of simple analog processors is described. Analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion was considered as a simple optimization problem, and an A/D converter of novel architecture was designed. A/D conversion is a simple example of a more general class of signal-decision problems which, as is shown here, can also be solved by appropriately constructed networks. Circuits to solve these problems were designed using general principles which result from an understanding of the basic collective computational properties of a specific class of analog-processor networks. It is also shown that a network which solves linear programming problems can be understood from the same concepts.
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