## ON THE COMPUTABILITY OF CONDITIONAL PROBABILITY

Citations: | 3 - 3 self |

### BibTeX

@MISC{Ackerman_onthe,

author = {Nathanael L. Ackerman and Cameron E. Freer and Daniel and M. Roy},

title = {ON THE COMPUTABILITY OF CONDITIONAL PROBABILITY},

year = {}

}

### OpenURL

### Abstract

Abstract. We study the problem of computing conditional probabilities, a fundamental operation in statistics and machine learning. In the elementary discrete setting, conditional probability is defined axiomatically and the search for more constructive definitions is the subject of a rich literature in probability theory and statistics. In the discrete or dominated setting, under suitable computability hypotheses, conditional probabilities are computable. However, we show that in general one cannot compute conditional probabilities. We do this by constructing a pair of computable random variables in the unit interval whose conditional distribution encodes the halting problem at almost every point. We show that this result is tight, in the sense that given an oracle for the halting problem, one can compute this conditional distribution. On the other hand, we show that conditioning in abstract settings is computable in the presence of certain additional structure, such as independent absolutely continuous noise. 1.