## A Theory of Program Size Formally Identical to Information Theory (1975)

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### BibTeX

@MISC{Chaitin75atheory,

author = {Gregory J. Chaitin},

title = {A Theory of Program Size Formally Identical to Information Theory},

year = {1975}

}

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### Abstract

A new definition of program-size complexity is made. H(A;B=C;D) is defined to be the size in bits of the shortest self-delimiting program for calculating strings A and B if one is given a minimal-size selfdelimiting program for calculating strings C and D. This differs from previous definitions: (1) programs are required to be self-delimiting, i.e. no program is a prefix of another, and (2) instead of being given C and D directly, one is given a program for calculating them that is minimal in size. Unlike previous definitions, this one has precisely the formal 2 G. J. Chaitin properties of the entropy concept of information theory. For example, H(A;B) = H(A) + H(B=A) + O(1). Also, if a program of length k is assigned measure 2 \Gammak , then H(A) = \Gamma log 2 (the probability that the standard universal computer will calculate A) +O(1). Key Words and Phrases: computational complexity, entropy, information theory, instantaneous code, Kraft inequality, minimal program, probab...