Questions about Turing computability and recursion theory, including the halting problem and other unsolvable problems. Questions about the resources required to solving particular problems should be tagged (computational-complexity).

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11
votes
1answer
439 views

Approximate spectral decomposition

A detailed attempt below. I am interested in effective and constructive computations for finding approximate spectral decompositions in some suitable format. Namely, let $A: H \rightarrow H$ be a ...
21
votes
3answers
5k views

Are there any examples of non-computable real numbers?

Is this true, that if we can describe any (real) number somehow, then it is computable? For example, $\pi$ is computable although it is irrational, i.e. endless decimal fraction. It was just a luck, ...
26
votes
5answers
4k views

Are some real numbers “uncomputable”?

Is there an algorithm to calculate any real number. I mean given $a \in \mathbb{R}$ is there an algorithm to calculate $a$ at any degree of accuracy ? I read somewhere (I cannot find the paper) that ...
20
votes
6answers
3k views

Is it possible to solve any Euclidean geometry problem using a computer?

By "problem", I mean a high-school type geometry problem. If no, is there other set of axioms that allows that? If yes, are there any software that does that? I did a search, but was not able to ...
9
votes
1answer
450 views

Algorithm to answer existential questions - Reduction

Lemma 1. For any $x$ in the ring $F[t,t^{-1}]$ ($F[t,t^{-1}]$: the polynomials in $t$ and $t^{-1}$ with coefficients in the field $F$), $x$ is a power of $t$ if and only if $x$ divides $1$ and $t-...
18
votes
3answers
734 views

How can Busy beaver($10 \uparrow \uparrow 10$) have no provable upper bound?

This wikipedia article claims that the number of steps for a $10 \uparrow \uparrow 10$ state (halting) Turing Machine to halt has no provable upper bound: "... in the context of ordinary ...
18
votes
2answers
24k views

Recognizable vs Decidable

What is difference between "recognizable" and "decidable" in context of Turing machines?
14
votes
1answer
325 views

Primitive recursive function which isn't $\Delta_0$

What is the simplest/cutest example (and/or example with the most student-friendly proof that it is an example) of a primitive recursive function which isn't representable by a $\Delta_0$ wff?
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Example of a not recursively enumerable set $A \subseteq \mathbb{N}$

Can someone give me an example if a not recursively enumerable set $A \subseteq \mathbb{N}$ ? I came up with this question, when trying to show, that there exist partial functions $f: \mathbb{N} \...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Markov's paper on insolubility of the homeorphy problem

I am looking for an English translation of Markov's 1958 paper, On insolubility of the homeorphy problem, which I remember coming across on a website for a computational topology course (taught by ...
17
votes
3answers
882 views

Is the Collatz conjecture in $\Sigma_1 / \Pi_1$?

Prompted by some of the comments on this question, I'm wondering if anything is known about the place of the Collatz Conjecture in the arithmetic hierarchy. More specifically, is Collatz known to be ...
10
votes
4answers
356 views

Countable choice and term extraction

The constructive Axiom of Countable Choice (ACC) is widely accepted due to its computational content. It states that: $$ \forall n\in \mathbb{N} . \exists x \in X . \varphi [n, x] \implies \exists f: ...
4
votes
1answer
229 views

The existential theory is undecidable

Lemma 1. For any $x$ in the ring $F[t,t^{-1}]$ ($F[t,t^{-1}]$: the polynomials in $t$ and $t^{-1}$ with coefficients in the field $F$), $x$ is a power of $t$ if and only if $x$ divides $1$ and $t-...
4
votes
1answer
340 views

Show $f$ is primitive recursive, where $f(n) = 1$ if the decimal expansion of $\pi$ contains $n$ consecutive $5$'s

Let $f:\mathbb{N}\to\mathbb{N}$ be given by $f(n)=1$ if the decimal expansion of $\pi$ contains $n$ consecutive $5$'s, and $f(n)=0$ otherwise. How would you go about showing such a function is ...
6
votes
1answer
524 views

What are $\Sigma _n^i$, $\Pi _n^i$ and $\Delta _n^i$?

Sometimes reading on wikipedia or in this site (and in very different context like topology, arithmetic and logic) I have found these symbols $\Sigma _n^i$, $\Pi _n^i$ and $\Delta _n^i$. They are ...
4
votes
1answer
191 views

A Turing machine for which halting is outside ZFC

If, given Turing machine T, "T halts" or "T doesn't halt" could be derived from axioms of ZFC, halting problem would be in R. As it isn't, there must exist a Turing machine for which truth or ...
3
votes
3answers
935 views

Is the language of all strings over the alphabet “a,b,c” with the same number of substrings “ab” & “ba” regular?

Is the language of all strings over the alphabet "a,b,c" with the same number of substrings "ab" & "ba" regular? I believe the answer is NO, but it is hard to make a formal demonstration of it, ...
2
votes
1answer
277 views

Restricted read twice BDDs and context free grammars

Several papers give poly-time algorithms for constrained paths on labelled graphs, e.g. [1] Quote: Given an alphabet Σ, a (directed) graph G whose edges are weighted and Σ-labeled, and a formal ...
3
votes
1answer
158 views

Why do $\omega$-models of subsystems of $\mathsf{Z}_2$ satisfy full induction?

Richard Shore, in his 2010 paper in the Bulletin of Symbolic Logic, 'Reverse Mathematics: The Playground of Logic', writes that Obviously, if an $\omega$-model $\mathcal{M}$ (those with $M = \...
2
votes
2answers
202 views

Why is there a $p\in \mathbb{N}$ such that $mr - p < \frac{1}{10}$?

I am reading the following part of the paper of Denef : Let $R$ be a commutative ring with unity and let $D(x_1,\dots , x_n)$ be a relation in $R$. We say that $D (x_1,\dots , x_n)$ is diophantine ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

set of Kolmogorov-random strings is co-re

given RC = {x : C(x) ≥ |x|} is a set of Kolmogorov-random strings. How can I show that RC is co-re I have been reading this paper What Can be Efficiently Reduced to the Kolmogorov-Random Strings?...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Is the theory of Algebraically Closed Fields decidable?

It's easy enough to show that the theory of algebraically closed fields of characteristic p is decidable (since its complete). But does it follow from this that the theory of algebraically closed ...
0
votes
0answers
241 views

A is recursive iff A is the range of an increasing function which is recursive

Working a problem stated in Enderton, but stated better and apparently stronger in Soare. All citations hereon are for Soare (1987). Would appreciate help on the proof. I know there has to be a more ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Example of a recursive set $S$ and a total recursive function $f$ such that $f(S)$ is not recursive?

Browsing wikipedia, I stumbled on the following: "The image of a computable set under a total computable bijection is computable." Given the form of the theorem, there must be some example of a ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Any problem computable in $k$ memory slots can be computed with polynomials.

Let our memory slots be represented by elements of $\Bbb{Z}_p$ for a prime $p$. $k$ memory slots would be $k$ copies of the ring: $R = (\Bbb{Z}_p)^k$. Suppose that for a problem $f : X \to Y$, ...
31
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do we believe the Church-Turing Thesis?

The Church-Turing Thesis, which says that the Turing Machine model is at least as powerful as any computer that can be built in practice, seems to be pretty unquestioningly accepted in my exposure to ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Density of halting Turing machines

If we enumerate all Turing machines, $T_1$, $T_2$, $T_3,\ldots,T_n,\ldots$, What is $$\lim_{m\to\infty}\frac{\#\{k\mid k\lt m \text{ and }T_k\text{ halts}\}}{m}\quad?$$ Or does this depend on how we ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

What philosophical consequence of Goedel's incompleteness theorems?

I want to write a philosophical essay centered about Goedel's incompleteness theorem. However I cannot find any real philosophical consequences that I can write more than half a page about. I read the ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

How to interpret “computable real numbers are not countable, and are complete”?

On page 12 of this (controversial) polemic http://web.maths.unsw.edu.au/~norman/papers/SetTheory.pdf Wildberger claims that Even the "computable real numbers" are quite misunderstood. Most ...
23
votes
7answers
3k views

Example of uncomputable but definable number

Every computable number is definable. However, the converse is not true. What is an example of a real number that is definable but that is NOT computable? I guess if it is there, we can "define" (...
9
votes
1answer
457 views

Irrationality measure of the Chaitin's constant $\Omega$

What is known about irrationality measure of the Chaitin's constant $\Omega$? Is it finite? Can it be a computable number? Can it be $2$?
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Prove Gödel's incompleteness theorem using halting problem

How can you prove Gödel's incompleteness theorem from the halting problem? Is it really possible to prove the full theorem? If so, what are the differences between original proof and proof by ...
6
votes
1answer
149 views

FRACTRAN for natural numbers

Is there a simple analogue of FRACTRAN that maps a natural number to a natural number, instead of mapping a list of fractions to a natural number? One could use Gödel encoding to translate FRACTRAN ...
6
votes
1answer
99 views

Who first discovered that some R.E. sets are not recursive?

Who first discovered that some recursively enumerable sets are not recursive, or equivalently that some semidecidable sets are undecidable? And in what context? Was the earliest formulation of this ...
6
votes
0answers
227 views

Recursive and Primitive recursive functions

According to the book that I'm reading, we can define the $\mu-$recursive functions inductively, as follows: The constant, projection, and successor functions are all $\mu-$recursive. If $g_1, \...
5
votes
5answers
717 views

Can a polynomial size CFG over large alphabet describe a language, where each terminal appears even number of times?

Can a CFG over large alphabet describe a language, where each terminal appears even number of times? If yes, would the Chomsky Normal Form be polynomial in |Σ| ? EDIT: What about a language where ...
3
votes
1answer
231 views

How to show that a function is computable?

Is the following function $$g(x) = \begin{cases} 1 & \mbox{if } \phi_x(x) \downarrow \mbox{or } x \geq 1 \\ 0 & \mbox{otherwise } \end{cases}$$ computable? Please note that $\phi_i(x) \...
3
votes
2answers
181 views

Different models of ZF disagree on equality of explicit recursively enumerable sets

Assuming that ZF is consistent, are there two recursively enumerable sets defined by explicit enumerators that are the same in one model of ZF+Con(ZF) but different in another model of ZF+Con(ZF)? If ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Proving Richardson's theorem for constants

(I also asked this 18 hours ago on mathoverflow, but did not yet get any responses there.) Richardson's theorem is given in this wikipedia article. $\:$ In this answer, Eric Towers states that ...
8
votes
2answers
446 views

Is there any generalization of the hyperarithmetical hierarchy using the analytical hierarchy to formulas belonging to third-order logic and above?

As I understand, hyperarithmetical sets are defined according to the analytical hierarchy, that is, second-order-logic formulas. There is a generalization of hyperarithmetic theory named α-recursion ...
8
votes
1answer
385 views

$F[t]$ has undecidable positive existential theory in the language $\{+, \cdot , 0, 1, t\}$

Consider the ring $F[t, t^{-1}]$ (the polynomials in $t$ and $t^{-1}$ with coefficients in the field $F$). Theorem 1. Assume that the characteristic of $F$ is zero. Then the existential theory ...
6
votes
1answer
154 views

Simplify these “basis functions” for universal computation?

Background: The following three functions (which map naturals to naturals) form a "complete basis" for universal computation, in the sense that any Turing machine can be simulated by iterating some ...
6
votes
2answers
225 views

Ordinals definable over $L_\kappa$

Suppose $\kappa$ is an uncountable cardinal, with $L_\kappa$ an admissible set (i.e. a model of Kripke–Platek set theory). Let $<_\gamma \subseteq \kappa \times \kappa$ denote a wellordering of $\...
5
votes
3answers
321 views

Numbers which are “Provably Difficult to Compute”?

We recall that a computable number $\alpha \in \mathbb{R}$ satisfies the following: there exists a computable function $f$ such that, given any positive rational error bound, $f$ outputs a rational ...
3
votes
1answer
248 views

Are there more true statements than false ones?

Let us enumerate all statements of PA or ZFC by length, upto n characters, then in the limit as $n\rightarrow\infty$, what proportion of statements are provably true, provably false, or independent? ...
3
votes
1answer
861 views

Unpacking the Diagonal Lemma

I am studying from Boolos' Computability & Logic (3rd edition). I need help unpacking what the Diagonal Lemma states, and understanding its proof. The Diagonal lemma is formalized on page 105 from ...
3
votes
1answer
236 views

Prove a set is not recursive / recursively enumerable

I have two sets B which is recursively enumerable and is not recursive, and A which is recursive. Is $A-B$ recursive and / or recursively enumerable? What about $B-A$? $B-A$ is obviously recursively ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Looking for counterexamples where the output of a computable function always has a computably checkable property, but PA cannot prove this

Suppose we have a computable function $f$, say over the naturals, and a decidable set $S$ of naturals, such that $f(x) \in S$ for all $x$. In this case, for any specific $x$, there is some specific ...
3
votes
2answers
156 views

Upper and Lower bounds on proof length

Given a First Order language say, for arithmetic $\langle 0, 1, +,\cdot ,^\wedge, S \rangle$, Can one establish any lower or upper bounds on the length of proofs from certain recursively enumerable ...
3
votes
0answers
155 views

Simplifying Relations in a Group

Let $K$ be the group generated by four elements $x_1,\cdots,x_4$ with relations that any simple commutator with repeated generator is trivial; for example, $[[x_2,[x_1,x_3]],x_3]=1$. As I have asked ...