Questions tagged [turing-machines]

Questions about Turing machines, a theoretical model of mechanical computation capable of simulating any computer program.

222 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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Universal Turing Machine simulation with bounded time overhead

Is it possible to design a Universal Turing Machine in which the simulation time of a given Turing Machine $M$ is bounded by a factor of $\mathcal{O}(\log|\Gamma|+\log|Q|)$ of the original running-...
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855 views

Complexity of Sorting Integers on a Multitape Turing Machine

How expensive is sorting integers on a Multitape Turing Machine? Well known sorting algorithms, like quicksort, tend to rely on jumping / indirect-access being cheap. But MTMs have no indirect access.....
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Unbounded-time programs in lambda calculus?

The Turing machine model has been extended to “infinitary turing machines”, which are Turing machines that can perform a countably and uncountably infinite amount of computations in finite time. Is ...
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Can all computational complexity results be expressed in terms of programming languages?

Computational complexity results are often explained in intuitive terms as statements about the possible efficiencies of algorithms to solve certain classes of problems. However, on a more formal ...
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52 views

What is the minimum acceleration of a macro machine?

In the context of Turing machines, consider a $k$-sized macro machine (k-MM) which operates on groups of $k$ symbols at once. This is a common optimization in the search for Busy Beavers, explained e....
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846 views

Compiler that compiles to a Turing machine?

I am interested in finding/writing a compiler that compiles a program written in a simple source language to a Turing machine (instead of assembly). Does anyone know if there is a good approach for ...
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39 views

Analogue of the topology-computability correspondence for computational complexity

There is an interesting correspondence between notions of topology and notions of computability theory originating from the ingenious idea of Dana Scott to identify computable functions with ...
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174 views

Difficulty in the halting problem for a simple Turing machine with standard enumerations of programs and of initial tape configurations

Preparations Consider a Turing machine with just one head and one tape (on which the head may move left, move right, or remain stationary), and with just two symbols ("blank" and "non-blank"). The ...
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How to model reversible interactive programs

Reversible programs with finite execution steps are well studied. For example, a Turing machine whose transitions are reversible and halts can be executed backwards consuming its tape in the reverse ...
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122 views

Is a reduced Wang B-machine Turing-complete?

A Wang B-machine has only 4 instructions: right: Move tape head right left: Move tape head left ...
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1k views

Oblivious Universal Turing Machine in O(T log(T)) time

I'm currently reading Computational Complexity: A Modern Approach. In this book, they give a proof of a universal Turing machine $U$ such that if $M(x)$ runs in $T$ steps, then $U(\lfloor M \rfloor, x)...
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1answer
720 views

How to simulate a bidirectional TM on a regular one with time factor four?

In Computational Complexity A Modern Approach, one claim says that if $f$ is computable in time $T(n)$ by a bidirectional TM $M$, then it is computable in time $4T(n)$ by a unidirectional TM $\tilde{M}...
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Prove that turing machines and the lambda calculus are equivalent

It is known that a turing machine and the lambda calculus are equivalent in power. I now want to try to prove this myself. I think proving that the lambda calculus is at least as powerful as a turing ...
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1answer
125 views

Proving a certain superset the halting language is not recursive

Let $\Sigma =\{ 0, 1\}$. Let $val:\Sigma^* \rightarrow \mathbb{N}$ be a function that given a string returns its decimal value, and $L_{halt} = \{\langle M\rangle \langle w\rangle \mid M $ halts on $w ...
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1answer
146 views

Advances in recent time in Von-neumann self replication idea

I have read about Von-neumann self replication from Theory of Self-reproducing automata, which are lecture notes reconstructed from lectures in book of the same name. Theory of Self-reproducing ...
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1answer
51 views

motivation and idea of defining non-deterministic Turing machine

This is a very basic question but I spent some time reading and find no answer. I am not computer science majored but have read some basic algorithm stuff, for example, some basic sorting algorithms ...
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107 views

Limits on the time of computation for a UTM simulating a TM

According to source page 20, theorem 1.9, it states that there is a universal Turing machine that can simulate any Turing machine with a time overhead of $O(\log n)$. Can a universal Turing machine ...
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72 views

Direct reduction $L_{REG}\le_m L_{CFG}$

Both $L_{REG}=\{ \langle M \rangle : L(M)\text{ is regular}\}$ and $L_{CFG}=\{ \langle M \rangle : L(M)\text{ is context-free}\}$ are $\le_m$-complete for $\Sigma_3^0$ in the arithmetic hierarchy. ...
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181 views

Are Turing machines with a limited but exponential tape decidable?

The Halting problem for Turing machines which work on a tape of at most $k$ cells can be solved: There is a limited number of distinct configurations available, providing an upper bound of steps ...
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87 views

Why does using an encoding trick like Gödel numbers make a register machine universal?

Here the author describes the Random Access Stored Program machine and the problem of indirect addressing. The author states: But this does not solve the problem (unless one resorts to Gödel ...
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163 views

A complete catalog of 2-state Turing machines?

For educational purposes, I'm about to start a research project that involves creating a complete database documenting and classifying all 2-state, 2-symbol Turing machines, according to a ...
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167 views

Time Complexity of Simulating CA with TM

This question is a follow up to the question: Proving Equivalence of 1-dimensional Cellular Automaton and Turing Machines. To simulate a CA with a TM, I used a construction which placed a marker on ...
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50 views

Converting from m base to n base without arithmetic operations (Where m<n )

I have been working the last 8 years in try to convert from base n to base m without artihmetical operations. My hypothesis is that by the same way that is possible convert bases without division (...
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Bounds on tape alphabet size of a Turing Machine encoding

What is the max possible ratio between the tape alphabet size and the total encoding size in an asymptotic sense? Say if I take some TM and add more and more symbols to its tape alphabet, will the ...
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15 views

Similarities between Babbage's difference engine and the Turing machine

What would you consider similarities between the difference engine and the Turing machine? At this point I feel I know how they both function, yet I can't point out any worthwhile similarities between ...
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On teaching Kolmogorov complexity with Python and the complexity of composed strings

The setting of this question is a bit long-winded, but please bear with me. This fall I will be lecturing a course on mathematical information theory, and on a few lectures we will be discussing ...
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1answer
41 views

How To Show That B is Semi-Decidable Given A

I am preparing for my Computational Theory final and ran into this exact problem : B={ x | there exists a prefix of x that is in A}. Show that B is semi-decidable. In other words, you need to ...
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1answer
71 views

Proving $E_{DFA}$ is decidable by running $A_{DFA}$ several times

I am trying to prove that language $E_{DFA}$ is decidable using multiple executions of $A_{DFA}$ (not using the proof in Sipser's book "Introduction to the Theory of Computation"). Can I just use ...
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29 views

Is there a formal way of defining a Zeno Machine?

The idea of a Zeno machine is pretty interesting to me, but I can't seem to find a formal definition for how a Zeno machine would work. I can find a couple of definitions around but they are all ...
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796 views

Turing machine VS Push Down Automaton in CFL

I want to ask that between turing machine and pushdown automaton: which abstract machine can handle context-free language (CFL) in a more efficient way, and why? I know that a pushdown automaton can ...
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177 views

Equivalence between different Turing Machines and a definition of simulation

Im having some difficulty understanding how the following two concepts could be related. Equivalence between TMs as is commonly tought According to this site answer, to prove a standard TM model to ...
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38 views

Is the language $L$ of coded CFG's Turing decidable?

Consider the following language $L$ = {$<G><w>$ | $G$ is a CFG and $w\in L(G)$} Now, I wish to prove that $L$ is Turing decidable. My gut tells me to construct a Turing machine that ...
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Reference request: Algorithms on Turing Machines

Is there a good survey or some papers with algorithms in the Turing machine model? I know the paper STRING-MATCHING AND OTHER PRODUCTS contains Turing Machine version of KMP. Are there any other such ...
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180 views

Simulating a turing machine with DPDA with two stacks

In general, the idea for simulation a turingmachine using a PDA with two stacks, is to use one stack representing the already read input and the second stack representing the unread part of the input. ...
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101 views

Simulating QC using nondeterministic Turing machine

Is it more efficient to simulate Quantum Computer using a non-deterministic Turing machine? Would it be more efficient than simulation using a deterministic Turing machine or probabilistic Turing ...
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Decidability/recognizability of languages with strings lacking alphabet characters

Suppose that $\Sigma = \{c_1, \dots, c_m\}$ is some finite alphabet and supposing $s \in \Sigma^*$, let $\mathcal{I}_j(s)$ denote the number of instances of character $c_j$ in $s$. Call a string $s$ ...
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How to build a TM state diagram for a given language

I came across following TM state diagram accepting language $\{a^nb^nc^n | n\geq 0\}$ After trying out some valid and invalid strings of various lengths, I was surprised how it is designed to accept ...
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Prove $\forall a>0.BPP[{a,a+\frac{1}{n}}]=BPP$

I need to prove that $\forall a>0.BPP[{a,a+\frac{1}{n}}]=BPP$ $BPP[a,b]$ definition: A language L is in BPP(a,b) if and ...
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332 views

Explaining TM notation in Lewis/Papadimitriou

I was working on some questions in the book "Elements Of The Theory Of Computation", by Lewis and Papadimitriou, and I need help with one question - question 4.1.8 (chapter 4): Give the full ...
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Uses of unary or sparse languages in other models

In the turing model we have the statements that if there is an unary or sparse language that is NP complete then P=NP and if there is a Turing reduction from an NP complete problem to an unary or ...
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Random Access Machine output

It is known that when a Random Access Machine halts the output on the registers is going to be $R_1,\ldots,R_{||R_0||}$ after going through its instruction set where $||R_0||$ denotes the length of ...
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Expressing classic automata in modern terms

This semester I was introduced to finite automata (FSM), then pushdown automata (PDA), and now the Turing machine (TM). Granted that there're many possible implementations of these abstractions (...
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Decidable non time constructible function

Can anyone help me find an example of a function $f:\mathbb{N}\rightarrow\mathbb{N}$ which satisfies $\forall n\in\mathbb{N}: f(n)\ge n$ and is decidable, i.e. there exists some Turing machine $M_f$ ...
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What are the fundamental principles/algorithms on the process of equation solving?

I have seen a lot of solvers that are capable of, for example, getting an equation such as x ^ 2 + x = 12 and finding x = [3, -4]. I know some of them are implemented by hardcoding special cases. For ...
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How to simulate a cellular automaton via a Turing machine

It is rather easy to see that every cellular automaton can be simulated by a Turing machine: We can simulate a cellular automaton with an appropriate C program and every C program can be simulated by ...
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Is ASM a regular language?

I'm giving a presentation where I have a single slide dedicated to formal languages. In this slide I give a simplified overview of the Chomsky Hierarchy and I'd like to give an example of a real world ...
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Decide if Turing machine's language contains either a or b string

during school exercises we worked on decidability problems and there was one I don't really understand. We were provided with solution and explanation regarding this exercise but still I need more ...
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2answers
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Can I apply Rice's theorem to decide decidability status of these languages?

I came across these languages: A Turing machine prints a specific letter. A Turing machine computes the products of two numbers I was guessing whether I can apply Rice's theorem to decide upon above ...
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Deterministic Time Hierachy Proof by Arora and Barak: Question about time to simulate Turing Machine $M$ that decides separating language

In the book "Computational Complexity: A modern approach", Arora and Barak proof the statement that $DTIME(n) \subsetneq DTIME(n^{1.5})$ by constructing a separating language $L \in DTIME(n^{1.5})$ ...
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108 views

Encoding any turing machine to one with 2 symbols

This is a repost from https://stackoverflow.com/questions/56990710/encoding-any-turing-machine-to-one-with-2-symbols since it was brought to my attention that the question would be better suited to ...