Reliable Circuits Using Less Reliable Relays. E. F. Moore, Claude E. Shannon.
Reliable Circuits Using Less Reliable Relays
Reliable Circuits Using Less Reliable Relays
The first collected edition

Reliable Circuits Using Less Reliable Relays

New York: Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. January 1957. First Collected Edition. 1-35, [1-blank] pages. 21.3 x 27.5 cm (8 3/8 x 10 7/8 inches). Stapled wrappers, printed in grey, light blue, and black. 5 hole punched at the spine, as issued. The first separate edition. A nice clean copy noting some minor soiling to the rear panel and several creases to the wrappers. Very Good. Wraps. [28167]


This is the first collected edition, published in the Bell Telephone System Technical Publications Monograph series, #2696. Previously published as “Reliable Circuits Using Less Reliable Relays I,“ in the Journal of the Franklin Institute, Vol. 262 (Sept., 1956), pp. 191-208 and “Reliable Circuits Using Less Reliable Relays II,” in the Journal of the Franklin Institute, Vol. 262, (October 1956), pp 281-297.

"An investigation is made of relays whose reliability can be described in simple terms by means of probabilities. It is shown that by using a sufficiently large number of these relays in the proper manner, circuits can be built which are arbitrarily reliable, regardless of how unrealiable the original relays are. Various properties of these circuits are elucidated." (abstract).

While theoretically useful, this paper also had a very practical use. Early computers using relays had to remain running to be useful. This was one design input for engineers whose job it was to take the best theories and make them practical on the production floor. An early title for this paper was "Reliable Circuits Using Crummy Relays" which was changed for reasons. Shannon credits Von Neumann with inspiring this paper based on his earlier work on Sheffer stroke organs.

Provenance: From the files of Claude E. Shannon (unmarked).

Literature: Sloane and Wyner, "Claude Elwood Shannon Collected Papers" #89 & 90. Not in "Origins of Cyberspace."

COLLECTORS NOTE: The Bell System Monograph series is not an offprint series although it is often incorrectly referred to in this manner. It was rather a publication of Bell Telephone Laboratories used to widely distribute (primarily to libraries and large corporations) research articles written by Bell System employees in a variety of widely dispersed publications (including but certainly not limited to the Bell System Technical Journal). The series therefore represents a much broader selection of Bell System research than the Bell System Technical Journal did. Collectors prize this series as they are often (but not always) the first separate appearance of a paper and hence are the closest one can get to the elusive and ever sought after offprint.

Price: $350.00

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