associative memory

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associative memory

[ə′sō·sē‚ād·iv ′mem·rē]
(computer science)
A data-storage device in which a location is identified by its informational content rather than by names, addresses, or relative positions, and from which the data may be retrieved. Also known as associative storage.
Recalling a previously experienced item by thinking of something that is linked with it, thus invoking the association.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Associative Memory


a storage unit of digital computers in which selection (entry) is performed not according to concrete address but rather according to a preset combination (association) of attributes characteristic of the desired information. Such attributes can be part of a word (number), attached to it for detection among other words, certain features of the word itself (for example, the presence of specific codes in its digits), the absolute value of a word, its presence in a preset range, and so on.

The operation of an associative memory is based on the representation of all information in the form of a sequence of zones according to properties and characteristic attributes. In this case the retrieval of information is reduced to the determination of the zone according to the preset attributes by means of scanning and comparison of those attributes with the attributes that are stored in the associative memory. There are two basic methods of realizing the associative memory. The first is the construction of a memory with storage cells that have the capability of performing simultaneously the functions of storage, nondestructive reading, and comparison. Such a method of realizing an associative memory is called network parallel-associative—that is, the required sets of attributes are preserved in all the memory cells, and the information that possesses a given set of attributes is searched for simultaneously and independently over the entire storage capacity. Card indexes for edge-punched cards are prototypes of such an associative memory. Thin-film kryotrons, transfluxors, biaxes, magnetic thin films, and so on are used as storage elements of network-realized associative memories.

The second method of realizing an associative memory is the programmed organization (modeling) of the memory. It consists of the establishment of associative connections between the information contained in the memory by means of ordered arrangement of the information in the form of sequential chains or groups (lists) connected by linkage addresses whose codes are stored in the same memory cells. This procedure is the more suitable for practical realization in dealing with large volumes of information because it provides for the use of conventional accumulators with address reference.

The use of an associative memory considerably facilitates the programming and solution of informational-logical problems and accelerates by hundreds (thousands) of times the speed of retrieval, analysis, classification, and processing of data.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

associative memory

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(1) (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) The automation of manufacturing systems and techniques, including numerical control, process control, robotics and materials requirements planning (MRP). See CAD and CAD/CAM.

(2) (CAMera) See Webcam, front-facing camera, rear-facing camera and network camera.

(3) (Content Addressable Memory) A hardware technique used for fast table lookups. See content-addressable memory.

(4) (Common Access Method) An ANSI standard interface that provides a common language between drivers and SCSI host adapters. See SCSI and ASPI.

(5) (Customer Asset Management) In the 1990s, a term that was first coined for and later replaced with "customer relationship management (CRM). See CRM.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Jiang, "A unified associative memory model based on external inputs of continuous recurrent neural networks," Neurocomputing, vol.
Among the words in English vocabulary, as long as the meaningful semantic relations are established, a word will help learners associate a series of related vocabulary to achieve associative memory. For example, when we refer to the theme wedding, we immediately think of bride, bridegroom, engage, gown, bouquet, etc.
Xia, "LMI-based exponential stability criterion for bidirectional associative memory neural networks," Neurocomputing, vol.
The results of our present study extend those from our previous work [11], where we found that resistance training significantly improved associative memory. Within this context, several noteworthy points of discussion follow.
He, "Delay-independent stability in bidirectional associative memory networks," IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, vol.
A study of the cognitive and brain mechanisms underlying this deficit, through testing of associative memory performance and processing in study participants during structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning, have found that impaired learning abilities are predominantly associated with cerebellar brain volumes.
The IBM team has successfully demonstrated simple applications like navigation, machine vision, pattern recognition, associative memory and classification.
The IBM team has demonstrated simple applications like navigation, machine vision, pattern recognition, associative memory and classification.
This associative memory can be established by a single conditioning session and persists for several weeks (Nakaya et al., 2001; Matsuo et al., 2002).
That 'everything' includes target memory; 'cue memory,' for the stimulus (the Lithuanian) that evinces the target; and 'associative memory,' of the relationship between things-in this case, the word pair.
Word associations tests of associative memory and implicit processes: Theoretical and assessment issues.
(1.) Alkon, D.L., Nelson T, Zhao W, Cavallaro S: Time domains of neuronal Ca2+ signaling and associative memory: steps through a calexcitin, ryanodine receptor, K+ channel cascade.

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