Questions tagged [computability]

Computability theory a.k.a. recursion theory.

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9
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6answers
14k 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 ...
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1answer
97 views

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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2answers
256 views

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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1answer
103 views

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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0answers
160 views

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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0answers
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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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2answers
681 views

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, ...
18
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2answers
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 ...
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0answers
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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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2answers
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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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0answers
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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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3answers
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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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0answers
76 views

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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4answers
1k views

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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1answer
96 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 ...
0
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2answers
146 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 ...
5
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2answers
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-...
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2answers
337 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 ...
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1answer
141 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://...
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2answers
157 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 ...
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15answers
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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 ...
18
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2answers
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 ...
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0answers
44 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 ...
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0answers
79 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 ...
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1answer
126 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 ...
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4answers
467 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 ...
11
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1answer
533 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 ...
6
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1answer
239 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 $M$ ...
2
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1answer
509 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 ...
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7answers
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 ...
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2answers
166 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, ...
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3answers
480 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 ...
6
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1answer
378 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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0answers
78 views

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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1answer
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 ...
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1answer
142 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 (...
6
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1answer
298 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 ...
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2answers
584 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
175 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 ...
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0answers
149 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 ...
5
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3answers
636 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. ...
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0answers
160 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, ...
85
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10answers
15k views

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 ...
11
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1answer
2k views

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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1answer
196 views

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 ...
10
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1answer
378 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 $O(1)$, ...
6
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2answers
275 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 ...
2
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1answer
173 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 ...
6
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3answers
223 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 ...

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