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A.Lewis, Infinite time turing machines
 Journal of Symbolic Logic
"... Abstract. We extend in a natural way the operation of Turing machines to infinite ordinal time, and investigate the resulting supertask theory of computability and decidability on the reals. Every Π1 1 set, for example, is decidable by such machines, and the semidecidable sets form a portion of the ..."
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Cited by 74 (5 self)
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Abstract. We extend in a natural way the operation of Turing machines to infinite ordinal time, and investigate the resulting supertask theory of computability and decidability on the reals. Every Π1 1 set, for example, is decidable by such machines, and the semidecidable sets form a portion of the ∆1 2 sets. Our oracle concept leads to a notion of relative computability for sets of reals and a rich degree structure, stratified by two natural jump operators. In these days of superfast computers whose speed seems to be increasing without bound, the more philosophical among us are perhaps pushed to wonder: what could we compute with an infinitely fast computer? By proposing a natural model for supertasks—computations with infinitely many steps—we provide in this paper a theoretical foundation on which to answer this question. Our model is simple: we simply extend the Turing machine concept into transfinite ordinal time. The resulting machines can perform infinitely many steps of computation, and go on to more computation after that. But mechanically they work just like Turing machines. In particular, they have the usual Turing machine hardware; there is still the same smooth infinite paper tape and the same mechanical head moving back and forth according to a finite algorithm, with finitely many states. What is new is the definition of the behavior of the machine at limit ordinal times. The resulting computability theory leads to a notion of computation on the reals, concepts of decidability and semidecidability for sets of reals as well as individual reals, two kinds of jumpoperator, and a notion of relative computability using oracles which gives a rich degree structure on both the collection of reals and the collection of sets of reals. But much remains unknown; we hope to stir interest in these ideas, which have been a joy for us to think about.
NonTuring computations via MalamentHogarth spacetimes
 Int. J. Theoretical Phys
, 2002
"... We investigate the Church–Kalmár–Kreisel–Turing Theses concerning theoretical (necessary) limitations of future computers and of deductive sciences, in view of recent results of classical general relativity theory. We argue that (i) there are several distinguished Church–Turingtype Theses (not only ..."
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Cited by 66 (8 self)
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We investigate the Church–Kalmár–Kreisel–Turing Theses concerning theoretical (necessary) limitations of future computers and of deductive sciences, in view of recent results of classical general relativity theory. We argue that (i) there are several distinguished Church–Turingtype Theses (not only one) and (ii) validity of some of these theses depend on the background physical theory we choose to use. In particular, if we choose classical general relativity theory as our background theory, then the above mentioned limitations (predicted by these Theses) become no more necessary, hence certain forms of the Church– Turing Thesis cease to be valid (in general relativity). (For other choices of the background theory the answer might be different.) We also look at various “obstacles ” to computing a nonrecursive function (by relying on relativistic phenomena) published in the literature and show that they can be avoided (by improving the “design ” of our future computer). We also ask ourselves, how all this reflects on the arithmetical hierarchy and the analytical hierarchy of uncomputable functions.
NPcomplete problems and physical reality
 ACM SIGACT News Complexity Theory Column, March. ECCC
, 2005
"... Can NPcomplete problems be solved efficiently in the physical universe? I survey proposals including soap bubbles, protein folding, quantum computing, quantum advice, quantum adiabatic algorithms, quantummechanical nonlinearities, hidden variables, relativistic time dilation, analog computing, Mal ..."
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Cited by 33 (5 self)
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Can NPcomplete problems be solved efficiently in the physical universe? I survey proposals including soap bubbles, protein folding, quantum computing, quantum advice, quantum adiabatic algorithms, quantummechanical nonlinearities, hidden variables, relativistic time dilation, analog computing, MalamentHogarth spacetimes, quantum gravity, closed timelike curves, and “anthropic computing. ” The section on soap bubbles even includes some “experimental ” results. While I do not believe that any of the proposals will let us solve NPcomplete problems efficiently, I argue that by studying them, we can learn something not only about computation but also about physics. 1
General relativistic hypercomputing and foundation of mathematics
"... Abstract. Looking at very recent developments in spacetime theory, we can wonder whether these results exhibit features of hypercomputation that traditionally seemed impossible or absurd. Namely, we describe a physical device in relativistic spacetime which can compute a nonTuring computable task, ..."
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Cited by 4 (0 self)
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Abstract. Looking at very recent developments in spacetime theory, we can wonder whether these results exhibit features of hypercomputation that traditionally seemed impossible or absurd. Namely, we describe a physical device in relativistic spacetime which can compute a nonTuring computable task, e.g. which can decide the halting problem of Turing machines or decide whether ZF set theory is consistent (more precisely, can decide the theorems of ZF). Starting from this, we will discuss the impact of recent breakthrough results of relativity theory, black hole physics and cosmology to well established foundational issues of computability theory as well as to logic. We find that the unexpected, revolutionary results in the mentioned branches of science force us to reconsider the status of the physical Church Thesis and to consider it as being seriously challenged. We will outline the consequences of all this for the foundation of mathematics (e.g. to Hilbert’s programme). Observational, empirical evidence will be quoted to show that the statements above do not require any assumption of some physical universe outside of our own one: in our specific physical universe there seem to exist regions of spacetime supporting potential nonTuring computations. Additionally, new “engineering ” ideas will be outlined for solving the socalled blueshift problem of GRcomputing. Connections with related talks at the Physics and Computation meeting, e.g. those of Jerome DurandLose, Mark Hogarth and Martin Ziegler, will be indicated. 1
Information processing, computation, and cognition
 JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL PHYSICS
"... Computation and information processing are among the most fundamental notions in cognitive science. They are also among the most imprecisely discussed. Many cognitive scientists take it for granted that cognition involves computation, information processing, or both – although others disagree veheme ..."
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Cited by 1 (1 self)
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Computation and information processing are among the most fundamental notions in cognitive science. They are also among the most imprecisely discussed. Many cognitive scientists take it for granted that cognition involves computation, information processing, or both – although others disagree vehemently. Yet different cognitive scientists use ‘computation ’ and ‘information processing ’ to mean different things, sometimes without realizing that they do. In addition, computation and information processing are surrounded by several myths; first and foremost, that they are the same thing. In this paper, we address this unsatisfactory state of affairs by presenting a general and theoryneutral account of computation and information processing. We also apply our framework by analyzing the relations between computation and information processing on one hand and classicism and connectionism/computational neuroscience on the other. We defend the relevance to cognitive science of both computation, at least in a generic sense, and information processing, in three important senses of the term. Our account advances several foundational debates in cognitive science by untangling some of their conceptual knots in a theoryneutral way. By leveling the playing field, we pave the way for the future resolution of the debates ’ empirical aspects.
SuperTasks, Accelerating Turing Machines and Uncomputability
"... Accelerating Turing machines are abstract devices that have the same computational structure as Turing machines, but can perform supertasks. I argue that performing supertasks alone does not buy more computational power, and that accelerating Turing machines do not solve the halting problem. To sh ..."
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Accelerating Turing machines are abstract devices that have the same computational structure as Turing machines, but can perform supertasks. I argue that performing supertasks alone does not buy more computational power, and that accelerating Turing machines do not solve the halting problem. To show this, I analyze the reasoning that leads to Thomson's paradox, point out that the paradox rests on a conflation of different perspectives of accelerating processes, and conclude that the same conflation underlies the claim that accelerating Turing machines can solve the halting problem.
How quantum computers fail: quantum codes, correlations in physical systems, and noise accumulation
, 2011
"... Dedicated to the memory of Itamar Pitowsky The feasibility of computationally superior quantum computers is one of the most exciting and clearcut scientific questions of our time. The question touches on fundamental issues regarding probability, physics, and computability, as well as on exciting pr ..."
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Dedicated to the memory of Itamar Pitowsky The feasibility of computationally superior quantum computers is one of the most exciting and clearcut scientific questions of our time. The question touches on fundamental issues regarding probability, physics, and computability, as well as on exciting problems in experimental physics, engineering, computer science, and mathematics. We propose three related directions towards a negative answer. The first is a conjecture about physical realizations of quantum codes, the second has to do with correlations in stochastic physical systems, and the third proposes a model for quantum evolutions when noise accumulates. 1
Can new physics challenge “old ” computational barriers?
"... Abstract. We discuss the impact of very recent developments of spacetime theory, black hole physics, and cosmology to well established foundational issues of computability theory and logic. Namely, we describe a physical device in relativistic spacetime which can compute a nonTuring computable task ..."
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Abstract. We discuss the impact of very recent developments of spacetime theory, black hole physics, and cosmology to well established foundational issues of computability theory and logic. Namely, we describe a physical device in relativistic spacetime which can compute a nonTuring computable task, e.g. which can decide the halting problem of Turing machines or whether ZF set theory is consistent or not. Connections with foundation of mathematics and foundation of spacetime theory will be discussed. 1
Supertask Computation
, 2002
"... Abstract. Infinite time Turing machines extend the classical Turing machine concept to transfinite ordinal time, thereby providing a natural model of infinitary computability that sheds light on the power and limitations of supertask algorithms. 1 Supertasks What would you compute with an infinitely ..."
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Abstract. Infinite time Turing machines extend the classical Turing machine concept to transfinite ordinal time, thereby providing a natural model of infinitary computability that sheds light on the power and limitations of supertask algorithms. 1 Supertasks What would you compute with an infinitely fast computer? What could you compute? To make sense of these questions, one would want to understand the algorithms that the machines would carry out, computational tasks involving infinitely many steps of computation. Such tasks, known as supertasks, have been studied since antiquity from a variety of viewpoints. Zeno of Elea (ca. 450 B.C.) was perhaps the first to grapple with supertasks, in his famous paradox that it is impossible to go from here