# Questions tagged [turing-machines]

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

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### How is it valid to use oracles in mathematical arguments?

Oracles do not exist. If one did exist, then you would replace them with a subroutine with computational requirements and you would no longer need an "Oracle". Thus, Oracles do not exist almost by ...
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### Why is the halting problem decidable for LBA?

I have read in Wikipedia and some other texts that The halting problem is [...] decidable for linear bounded automata (LBAs) [and] deterministic machines with finite memory. But earlier it is ...
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### How do nondeterministic Turing machines compute general function problems?

(Hope this hasn't been asked before, but I didn't find anything.) In my understanding, nondeterminism applies to decision problems only, due to the requirement of the existence of an accepting path. ...
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### Program synthesis, decidability and the halting problem

I was reading an answer to a recent question, and sort of a strange, ephemeral thought came to mind. My asking this might betray either that my theory chops are seriously lacking (mostly true) or that ...
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### Two-State Turing Machine for Parenthesis Matching

In college we have been learning about theory of computation in general and Turing machines more specifically. One of the great theoretical results is that at the cost of a potentially large alphabet (...
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### Do Turing machines assume something infinite at some point?

In a previous question What exactly is an algorithm?, I asked whether having an "algorithm" that returns the value of a function based on an array of precomputed values was an algorithm. One of the ...
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### Is there an example of a recursive language which is not context sensitive?

I have been looking for a prototypical language for recursive languages (decidible) which is no context sensitive without success. For instance $a^*$ is prototypical of regular languages, $a^nb^n$ for ...
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### Why is the halting problem semi-decidable?

This is what is know about halting problem and semi-decidability :- Halting problem says that for a given input x and a machine H, we can't say whether the machine H halts or not on input x. A ...
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### Proving decidability of language

Prove or disprove: The following language $L$ is decidable: $\{ \langle M, t\rangle: M \text{ is a Turing machine and } \forall w \in \{0,1\}^* [M(w) \text{ halts in at most } t \text{ steps} ]\}$ ...
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### Is the halting problem specific to Turing machines?

The proofs that the halting problem is undecidable seem to make very few assumptions about the kind of program/machine under consideration: just that the programs take one input and either loop or ...
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### Given a Turing machine , How to construct a efficient boolean circuit?

The proof of $P\subseteq P_{\\poly}$, Let $M$ is a Turing machine with $T(n)$ is running time and goal here is to design a boolean circuit of size $O(T(n))$ (for more detail see Arora and Barak page ...
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### Is it decidable whether a Turing machine modifies the tape, on a particular input?

Is $L=\{\langle M,w \rangle|M\text{ does not modify the tape on input w}\}$ decidable? We could tell if a TM does not modify the tape on any input by checking if there are no transitions in $M$ that ...
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### Difference between Turing machine and Universal Turing machine

I've read what's a Turing machine and an UTM are, but I don't get the difference. What does an UTM can do which a normal Turing machine can not?
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### Why does NTIME consider the length of the longest computation?

In Sipser's textbook "Introduction to the Theory of Computation, Second Edition," he defines nondeterministic time complexity as follows: Let $N$ be a nondeterministic Turing machine that is a ...
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### Can we read N numbers in O(N) time?

In a different post it came up that (using the Turing machine model of computation), it is not even safe to say that $N$ numbers can be read in $O(N)$ time. To me this is boggling since it's ...
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### Multitape Turing machines against single tape Turing machines

Introduction: I recently learned that a multi-tape Turing Machine $\text{TM}_k$ is no more "powerful" than a single tape Turing machine $\text{TM}$. The proof that $\text{TM}_k \equiv \text{TM}$ is ...
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### Right moving turing machines and FSA's

I stumbled upon the following post while learning about turing machines: Right moving turing machine I kind of understand the intuition behind why a TM that only moves to the right works like a FSA ...
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### Can a Turing machine have infinite states?

Does it make sense for a Turing machine to have infinite number of states ? I had previously asked a question Can Turing machines have infinite length input. From which I came to know about Type-2 ...
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### Implications of Halting Problem being unsolvable?

I came across a confusing situation when reducing the Halting Problem (HP) to the Blank Tape Accepting Problem (BP). We know that since HP can be reduced to BP, BP is decidable $\implies$ HP is ...
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### Is it decidable if a TM takes at least 2016 steps on all inputs?

$$L_1= \{\langle M \rangle \mid \text{$$M$$ takes at least 2016 steps on all inputs} \}$$ Is this language decidable? I will write my way of understanding it. Please answer it in the way I ...
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### Prove that {⟨M,w⟩∣M accepts w only} is unrecognizable [closed]

$$L = \{\langle M,w\rangle \mid \text{$$M$$ accepts $$w$$ only}\}$$ How can I prove this language is unacceptable (unrecognisable)? I think I should use a reduction, I'm not sure how.
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### Show that the collection of Turing-recognizable languages is closed under homomorphism [duplicate]

I have seen this question here, Closure of Turing-recognizable languages under homomorphism But actually this question answers the question of "What is the relation between homomorphism and ...
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### What is the difference between quantum TM and nondetermistic TM?

I was going through the discussion on the question How to define quantum Turing machines? and I feel that quantum TM and nondetermistic TM are one and the same. The answers to the other question do ...
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### Undecidable among these for turing machine

Below are two questions I found in Theory of Computation book but couldn't find its correct answers, can anyone please give correct answers with explanation? It is undecidable, whether an arbitrary ...
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### Turing machine + time dilation = solve the halting problem?

There are relativistic spacetimes (e.g. M-H spacetimes; see Hogarth 1994) where a worldline of infinite duration can be contained in the past of a finite observer. This means that a normal observer ...
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### Why is this true: “There are countably many Turing Machines” [duplicate]

It is said that there are uncountably many languages but only countably many Turing Machines. Could someone make this clear to me? And this doesn't mean that the set of TM is finite, yes?