In this paper we present the computational model underlying the one-way quantum computer which we introduced recently [Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 5188 (2001)]. The one-way quantum computer has the property that any quantum logic network can be simulated on it. Conversely, not all ways of quantum information processing that are possible with the one-way quantum computer can be understood properly in network model terms. We show that the logical depth is, for certain algorithms, lower than has so far been known for networks. For example, every quantum circuit in the Clifford group can be performed on the one-way quantum computer in a single step.