# Language consisting of all Turing machine encodings [closed]

$A=${$⟨M⟩$:$M$ $is$ $a$ $Turing$ $Machine$ }

What can be said about $A$ ? Specifically, is $A$ decidable,regular,CFL,CSL?

I would say $A$ is decidable since we can write an algorithm to check whether a string is a valid encoding of a Turing machine .

But, is $A$ Regular[or CFL or CSL] ?

Edit : Someone argued that he could make an encoding where all the possible strings(What would be the alphabet here?-same as the encoding I suppose) are valid encoding of a TM(since there is a one-to-one correspondence between two countable infinite sets), hence making $A$ regular .

• Under any reasonable encoding, $A$ is decidable, but in order to say anything more, you need to fix an encoding. Jan 31, 2015 at 22:41
• Under one encoding, all strings are encodings of Turing machines. Under others, the encoding is so complicated that it is not even context-free. It depends on the encoding. If the question doesn't specify the encoding, the answer is: "it depends on the encoding". Jan 31, 2015 at 22:51
• Enumerate all Turing machines. As the encoding of an arbitrary Turing machine, use the number of the machine denoted in unary. Every unary number is now the encoding of a Turing machine, by definition. So the language of the encodings is $1^*$ (or $1^+$). Jan 31, 2015 at 22:58
• The question does have an answer – it depends on the encoding. Jan 31, 2015 at 23:13
• Well, may be you could add it as an answer. Jan 31, 2015 at 23:19

The complexity of $A$ depends on the encoding used for Turing machines. It is easy to come up with an encoding in which every string encodes some Turing machine (there are lots of ways). In contrast, it is easy to come up with artificially "hard" encodings, say the $k$th Turing machine being encoded by $1^kb$, where $b=1$ iff the $k$th Turing machine halts on the empty input; under this encoding, $A$ is not decidable. Nevertheless, it seems intuitively clear that any reasonable encoding makes $A$ decidable, though it's hard to say anything more without knowing the exact encoding.