Questions tagged [computability]

Computability theory a.k.a. recursion theory.

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Detailed proof for multitape turing machines

I am aware of the fact that for every Multitape Turing Machine there exists a Single tape Turing Machine that accepts the same language. However, the proof of this fact is a high level proof in most ...
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Computability and continuity

Say $L_1$ and $L_2$ are computable languages. Let $f$ be a function $L_1 \rightarrow L_2$. Let $C$ be the statement, "if $l \subseteq L_2$ and $l$ is a computable language, the preimage $f^{-1}(...
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Functional abbreviation for Inst expression in Turing's 1936 paper

In Turing's 1936 paper "On Computable Numbers", For a Turing Machine $M$, $Inst(q_i S_j S_k L q_l ) $ means that if $M$ scans symbol $S_j $ under $m-configuration$ $q_i$, then the symbol ...
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Show that minimal CFG is undecidable via mapping reduction

Actually the problem below is an exercise in Sipser's textbook (Problem 5.36). However, from my perspective, it is not so trivial so that I post this question on this site instead of CS.SE. The ...
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Realizability theory: difference in power between Lambda calculus and Turing Machines

I have three related subquestions, which are highlighted by bullet points below (no, they could not be split, if you are wondering). Andrej Bauer wrote, here, that some functions are realizable ...
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How is proving a context free language to be ambiguous undecidable?

I've read somewhere that a Turing machine cannot compute this and it's therefore undecidable but why? Why is it computationally impossible for a machine to generate the parse tree's and make a ...
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4answers
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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/...
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1answer
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What are the limits of computation in this universe?

I understand that Turing completeness requires unbounded memory and unbounded time. However there is a finite amount of atoms in this universe, thus making memory bounded. For example even though $\pi$...
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Are all computable functions monoidal from a category theory POV? [closed]

I have been studying some category theory only to understand the "why" behind the various categorical constructs we use ("borrow") in the world of functional programming. One of ...
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1answer
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Is there a language of first-order logic such that every r.e. set is Turing-equivalent to some finitely axiomatizable theory in that language?

I hope that mathematical logic / recursion theory type questions are welcome here. I am sorry this question is so long and technical, but I believe that if you read it you will find that it is well-...
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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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Complexity relative to the graph of the Busy-Beaver function

This question is inspired by the comments made on this other question that I asked, and by an attempt to provide an explicit example of a complexity question beyond the Turing degree $\mathbf{0}$. (...
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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 ...
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How come Wikipedia says that Random Turing Machines can provide uncomputable output?

Wikipedia article mentioned : Hypercomputation The third paragraph starts off with: Technically, the output of a random Turing machine is uncomputable; however, most hypercomputing literature focuses ...
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1answer
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What kind of computational model is the brain? [duplicate]

I was wondering what kind of computational model is the human brain (as it seems superior to a Turing machine). Another thing that should be a separate question, What would be a perfect computer model ...
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Has there been any development of complexity theory for other Turing degrees than 0?

(I'm not sure if this question is better suited for MathOverflow or here. I'll try here first, and move over to MO later if it appears to be more appropriate.) Complexity theory can be very broadly ...
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Given a program specification, S, what can be said about the size and efficiency of programs that exactly satsify S, with respect to the size of S?

Suppose we are given a program specification, $S$, and we want to reason about programs $P$ that satisfy $S$. One might like to think that if the specification is 'simple', the the program should be '...
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Is there any way to differentiate between “sort of” Turing-Complete and “really” Turing-Complete?

Some things, like the computer language C, turing machines, lambda calculus, etc. seem to be "naturally" Turing-Complete. That is, they're just Turing-Complete from the bottom up. On the other hand, ...
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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 ...
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Logic of learning

Does Robust logic (Leslie Valiant), Default logic (Raymond Reiter) and Circumscription logic (John McCarthy) have any relation? I was Mathematician and Computer Science (dual degree undergraduate) ...
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1answer
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Definition of Omega Jump [closed]

In the book Computability theory (Rebecca Weber) I stumbled about Exercise 7.1.24 with the definition of the omega jump. The book says: The omega jump of $A$, $A^{(\omega)}$ is the join of all $A^{(n)}...
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Non Turing-Complete Models, Conditional-Complete function?

I know well the distinction between the class of Partial Recursive Functions, and $\mu$-Recursive, i.e. the latter is Turing Complete and the former is equivalent to the LOOP-Program model of ...
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How do models of hypercomputation overcome the Halting Problem?

Hypercomputation refers to models of computation that are not possible to simulate using Turing machines. (Hypercomputers are not necessarily physically realisable!) Some hypercomputers have access ...
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Apredictable sets

Some strange recursion-theoretic notions I encountered, I am unable to make much sense out of them. Some concrete questions below, but I'm also interested in just connections to existing recursion ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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-...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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://...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 $M$ ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 (...
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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 ...
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2answers
590 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...

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