Research Article

Prebiotic Geochemical Automata at the Intersection of Radiolytic Chemistry, Physical Complexity, and Systems Biology

Table 1

Hierarchically compounded components and instruction levels recognizable in most modern computers, with object levels and characteristic time scales of operation in seconds. Adapted from Brown et al. [47] and Denning [48].

LevelNameObjects (characteristic time scale)

15Workflow processCross-platform instructions and applications (105)
14User interfaceMachine operating systems (103)
13User virtual machineUser machine displays (101)
12DirectoriesDirectories (10−1)
11I/O streamsInput/output data (10−2)
10DevicesExternal devices (10−2)
9File systemFiles (10−2)
8Interprocess communicationPipes (10−2)
7Virtual memoryMemory segments (10−2)
6Local secondary storageBlocks of data (10−3)
5Processes and semaphoresPrimitive processes, semaphores, ready list (10−4)
4InterruptsFault handling programs (10−5)
3ProceduresProcedure segments, call stack, display (10−6)
2Instruction setEvaluation stack, scalar data, array data (10−8)
1Random access memory (RAM)Short-term memory elements (10−8)
0Electronic circuitsRegisters, gates, buses, and so forth (10−12)