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# Questions tagged [computability]

Computability theory a.k.a. recursion theory.

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### Is there a result in computability theory that does not relativize?

I was reading Andrej Bauer's paper First Steps in Synthetic Computability Theory. In the conclusion he notes that Our axiomatization has its limit: it cannot prove any results in computability ...
83 views

### Is this a good definition of computability? [closed]

I still haven't found a good definition of computability. All the definitions are either too vague, or they delegate the definition to another loaded term like "anything that uses math to solve a ...
38 views

### Binary Search Algorithm [closed]

The problem is from Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis Edition 3.2 (Java Version) Book from Clifford A. Shaffer. It is from the third chapter exercises, problem number 3.13.20. Below is how it is ...
140 views

### Turing meta-oracle

Let H(P) be some program that given P('s source code) computes whether or not P terminates, i.e. solves the halting problem. H only needs to terminate if P terminates. (This disallows solutions like ...
2k views

### Definition of a prefix-free Turing machine

A prefix-free function is one whose domain is prefix-free. Similarly, a prefix-free (Turing) machine is one whose domain is prefix-free. It is usual to consider such a machine as being self-...
275 views

### About the decidability of sets enumerated in non decreasing order

It is well known that a set of numbers enumerable in nondecreasing order is decidable. However, the typical proof, by cases on the finiteness of the enumerated set, is not constructive. In general, it ...
121 views

### Extended Church's thesis and internal parametricity

I am wondering if there is any known relationship between these 2 concepts in intensional MLTT as formulated here. Does $Internal\ parametricity \implies ECT$ hold? For forumlation of ECT see https://...
142 views

### Is the decidability of a language decidable? [closed]

Is there a Turing machine that takes a language as input and decides/semi-decides if it is a decidable language? Comments + answer say trivially the answer is yes; however, I'm wondering here would ...
9k views

### A simple decision problem whose decidability is not known

I am preparing for a talk aimed at undergraduate math majors, and as part of it, I am considering discussing the concept of decidability. I want to give an example of a problem that we do not ...
1k views

### Smallest possible universal combinator

I am looking for the smallest possible universal combinator, measured by the number of abstractions and applications required to specify such a combinator in the lambda calculus. Examples of universal ...
42 views

### Is there an alternative technique to define computable functions other than their definition on natural numbers? [closed]

I am not completely sure that why computable functions is defined as a subset of all functions from/to Natural Numbers, but as far as I know, computation comes from real (physical) world so ...
77 views

### Are there languages require many variables to achieve $\Sigma_n^0$ completeness?

The proof of Post's Theorem that I am familiar with assumes you have access to as many variables as you wish in your language. Matiyasevich's Theorem by contrast gives a $\Sigma_n^0$-complete formula ...
123 views

### Gödel-Numbering of the Context-Sensitive Languages

I would like to have a Gödel-numbering of the context-sensitive languages. Because there is no obvious syntactic distinction between LBAs and TMs, I cannot number the former in an immediate way. So I ...
433 views

### Is there a notion of computability on sets other than the natural numbers?

Is there a notion of computability on sets other than the natural numbers? For the sake of argument, let's say on sets $S$ that biject with $\mathbb{N}$. It's tempting to say "yes, they are those ...
478 views

### Non-comparable natural numbers

The "name the biggest number game" asks two players to write down a number secretly, and the winner is the person who wrote down the larger number. The game commonly allows players to write down ...
232 views

### Uniform mortality problem for Turing Machines

Consider the following generalisation of the mortality problem for Turing Machines. Given a Turing Machine $M$. Is there a bound $k_M$ such that starting from any configuration $c$ machine $M$ ...
466 views

### Langton's ant questions

I'm a mathematician currently working on the Langton's ant conjecture, just for fun. I have some result but I don't know if they are meaningless. So that is why I'm asking. 1) Is there a mathematical ...
6k views

### What do we know about provably correct programs?

The ever increasing complexity of computer programs and the increasingly crucial position computers have in our society leaves me wondering why we still don't collectively use programming languages in ...
158 views

### Compactness of domino tilings

I've read in Lemma 2 of the paper 1 that if every square region of the plane admits a tiling, then the whole plain admits a tiling, but the proof is omitted. This sounds like a compactness property, ...
440 views

### Defining primitive recursive functions over general data types

The primitive recursive functions are defined over the natural numbers. However, it seems as if the concept should generalise to other data types, allowing one to talk about primitive recursive ...
364 views

### Is there any research on Turing machines with transition relation homomorphic to given algebraic structure?

A Turing machine is defined as a structure $TM(L,Q,T)$, where $L,Q$ are sets of symbols and internal states of TM respectively, and T is a transition relation: $T: L \times Q \to L \times Q$ for ...
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### how is time complexity defined in computational learning theory

In general, when we say an algorithm $A$ PAC learns $C$ in time $t$, we say $A$ takes time $t$ before outputting a hypothesis $h$, and the hypothesis can be evaluated (on every $x$) in time $t$. Now ...
2k views

### Decidability of the halting problem on finite computers [closed]

I've seen two competing and contrary arguments for this problem. One states that real computers are linear-bounded automata, and therefore the halting problem is decidable. The other states that ...
131 views

### Why does the Placid Platypus function grow faster than any computable function?

I came across the Placid Platypus function $PP(n)$ today, defined as the minimal number of states needed for a turing machine that prints a string of $n$ ones and halts. This function is claimed to (...
282 views

### Is a binary sequence computable iff the Kolmogorov complexity of its initial segments is bounded?

Disclaimer: I am mostly unfamiliar with theoretical computer science, making it hard for me to navigate literature in the field. I ask the following out of curiosity. Background/Motivation: Coming ...
580 views

### Validity implies NP=#P? [closed]

Valid progams for NP imply every solution is a valid answer. NP not equals #P implies not all solutions are answers. Therefore, Validity implies NP=#P. NP is the problem class for ...
168 views

### Minimal information needed for determine some function

From calculus, we know that if someone has a continuous function $f$, it is enough to know $f$'s values on the rationals in order to know $f$ on the entire line. In some sense, a "countable amount of ...
3k views

### A total language that only a Turing complete language can interpret

Any language which is not Turing complete can not write an interpreter for it self. I have no clue where I read that but I have seen it used a number of times. It seems like this gives rise to a kind ...
138 views

### Solving the Halting problem for most inputs [closed]

Is it possible to solve the following version of the Halting problem : given any Turing machine and some input tape, the program should answer if this pair halts or not except possibly for one Turing ...
629 views

### Isolation in Turing-complete reversible cellular automata

I don't know much about the terminology and the results on cellular automata, but I would like to ask a question about an conjecture I thought. Consider Turing-complete reversible cellular automata. ...
155 views

### Can two-tape read-only Turing machines recognize any recursive language?

Suppose that a $k$-tape read-only Turing machine receives its input on each $k$ tapes. It cannot write on the tapes, but it can move on them in both ways, even move off from the input. So for example, ...
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### What would it mean to disprove Church-Turing thesis?

Sorry for the catchy title. I want to understand, what should one have to do to disprove the Church-Turing thesis? Somewhere I read it's mathematically impossible to do it! Why? Turing, Rosser etc ...
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### Given a PDA M such that L(M) is in DCFL construct a DPDA N such that L(N) = L(M)

Is it possible to construct an algorithm which takes as input a pushdown automaton $M$ along with the promise that the language accepted by this automaton $L(M)$ is a deterministic context-free ...
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### Is there any research on approximation of reals with computable numbers

I was wondering if there is any research in the field of Diophantine Approximation using the computable numbers. It seems to be a good fit, a dense countable set with a variety of different potential ...
322 views

### Is the Kolmogorov complexity of the truth tables of the halting problem known asymptotically?

Let $HALT_n$ denote the string of length $2^n$ corresponding to the truth table of the halting problem for inputs of length $n$. If the sequence of Kolmogorov complexities $K(HALT_n)$ were $O(1)$, ...
265 views

### Algorithm for identifying unprovable statements

I understand that this may depend on the specific set of axioms, but is there a general way (algorithm) for automatically detecting unprovable statements within a set of axioms? For example: If there ...
170 views

### Is there a difference between incompleteness and unknowable? [closed]

Godel proved that there are statements that are true but not provable. Unproven conjectures such "Twin Primes" might fall into such a class, as I understand. If so, does it mean that we will never ...
217 views

### Why/when do we ever need transfinite loop variants?

I do not understand why one would ever need a transfinite loop variant. Why do natural-number-valued variants not suffice? My simple (but perhaps too naive) argument is: if a loop $L$ terminates ...
278 views

### Is there a useful notion of being “approximately computable”

It seems that we can define a notion of being “approximately computable” where a set, $S$, is approximately computable if there is a family of computable functions $f_n(x)$ such that \lim_{n\to\...
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### Complexity of type-checking in relation to complexity of normalization

In order to verify that a terminating program terminates, one thing that can be done is to actually run the program. That may take a lot of time. If the program is typed in a total type-system, we can ...
12k views

### What is the best text of computation theory/theory of computation?

In University we used the Sipser text and while at the time I understood most of it, I forgot most of it as well, so it of course didn't leave all to great of an impression. I borrowed that book and ...
133 views

### Reference request: Arithmetic circuit complexity

I am completely new to this field. I want to read the prelims and unfortunately, I don't see any book written for a beginner in this area. Can anyone give me some basic starting points/references(text/...